Friday, May 04, 2012

This Week in Luxembourg

This week’s Grand Chamber case concerns software copyrights. The Court (per Judge Arestis) holds that it is not an infringement of copyright to duplicate the functionality of a programme. Moreover, once you’ve legally obtained a licensed copy of a programme you’re entitled to study how it works in order to help you write a competing programme. SAS Institute v. World Programming Cf.

In Migrationsverket v. Kastrati the 4th Chamber (per Judge Bay Larsen) does some asylum procedure: What happens with the Dublin II Regulation 343/2003 when an asylum application is withdrawn? The Court holds that in that case the Regulation is no longer applicable, meaning that in this case the Swedes are stuck with these Kosovars, without having the option of shipping them to France.

Comap (FR) and Legris (FR) lost their cartel appeals in the 3rd chamber (Judge Juhász). It didn’t help that big parts of their cases were declared inadmissible.

Under art. 4(2)(b) of Regulation 733/2002, only undertakings established in the EU can register a .eu top-level domain. The American company Walsh Optical tried to get around that by granting what we might describe as a “straw-license”, i.e. a license for the express and sole purpose of allowing the licensee to register a .eu TLD for AG Trstenjak now argues that such a license does not suffice to establish a “prior right” in the sense of art. 12(2) of Commission Regulation 874/2004. Pie Optiek v. Bureau Gevers (NL, DE, FR) Cf. IPKat

In access to documents law, there is a (partial) win for one of my favourite MEPs, Sophie in ‘t Veld. She wanted to see the opinion of the Council Legal Service on SWIFT, which the Council refused claiming that it would hurt ongoing negotiations (i.e. international relations) and legal advice. The General Court (Judge Vadapalas) had little patience for the legal advice argument, but allowed the Council to reconsider on the international relations argument, instructing them to be quite narrow in their interpretation. So parts of the opinion will stay confidential. In ‘t Veld v. Council

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