Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brief Summary of April / May / June and Beyonds

Huťko is back! Though he actually never left :) As you may have already noticed, last few months were more "quiet" than usual. This is due to the endless final exams period that was "entertaining" Huťko and consuming his entire time. Nevertheless this period is over, Huťko finally entered lawyer-dom and you can look forward to some very exciting blogposts in the near future. Why? Huťko is moving to Guangzhou, China where he will focus on IT&IP till middle of September. Therefore expect some interesting insights from the heart of the most dramatically evolving IP legal system on the planet. Now, let's see what has happened in the meantime in Europe.

  • Case DHL Express C-235/09 established one of the very important precedents of Community trademark system: "the scope of the prohibition against further infringement or threatened infringement of a Community trade mark, issued by a Community trade mark court extends, as a rule, to the entire area of the European Union." Huťko says that to his knowledge in German legal doctrine this was already settled longer (preliminary questions were referred from French Cour de cassation). CTM courts in Slovakia are Okresný súd Bratislava I., Okresný súd Banská Bystrica and Okresný súd Košice I. (the same courts have exclusive jurisdiction in national industrial property and unfair competition cases - copyright and related rights are governed by general jurisdiction), in Czech republic there is only Mestský soud v Praze. One can ask why Czech republic ,which is twice as big as Slovakia, has one CTM court, while Slovakia three, well, Huťko never really understood it either. For some rulings of CTM courts click here, other interesting reading is here or here. List of CTM courts can be consulted here.
  • Supreme Court of Slovak republic (Najvyšší súd SR) finally issued decision in the TIPOS case (sp. zn. 1MObdoV/22/2008). This hotly debated IP case (defendant is the state lottery company) concerns know-how and trademark law; Damages climbed up to astonishing 36,000,000.- EUR plus interests dating back to year of 2000; Even though Slovak courts are generally not very "talkative", the appeal ruling (that is only partially final) is almost two hundred pages long. Huťko hopes to find a time to report this case in a more detail for you.
  • High Court in Prague delivered its appeal ruling in Prolux case (sp. zn. 10 Cm 47/2009-39) which was previously reported on this blog here and here. This case is probably the very first application of the hosting safe harbour in the Czech republic. Huťko will post some more details soon; Slovak/Czech speaking audience can consult the most important excerpts with my short commentary in the upcoming issue (1/2011) of the journal Revue pro právo a technologie.
  • AG Pedro Cruz Villalon issued his joint Opinion in eDate Advertising C-509/09 and Olivier Martinez C‑161/10 cases (they both concern application of private international law on the internet, namely jurisdiction issue in relation to defamation case). Opinion is still not available in English, but German and Czech translations are already online. Brief commentary could be consulted here.
  • Another very important Opinion that is unfortunately still not available in English, the highlight of this year, Scarlet Extended C-70/10 (only French and Latvian so far). English press release is available here. It states that "according to Advocate General Cruz Villalón, a measure ordering an internet service provider to install a system for filtering and blocking electronic communications in order to protect intellectual property rights in principle infringes fundamental rights".
  • ONEL reference is already available on the Curia website as Leno Merken C-149/11;
  • According to AK Vorrat, Irish High Court still didn't refer its questions concerning data retention to the Court of Justice.
  • Commission appealed in Systran T-19/07 - the case number before Court of Justice is C-103/11; However the ruling of General Court is still not available in English, Slovak, Czech or German.
  • Marques reports very interesting case from German Bundesgerichtshof so called Peek & Cloppenburg (I ZR 174/07 ). In Germany two different companies sell clothes under the label "Peek & Cloppenburg" and both companies even exist for decades. The case concerns equilibrium of these two signs and would be an exciting reading if Huťko's German wasn't so poor..
  • Czech lower courts will start publishing they decisions on the new website here. The search of decisions is only under experimental operation at the moment.
  • Judgment in Stichting de Thuiskopie (C-462/09) is scheduled on Thursday, 16th of June (concerns fair compensation);
  • First hearing in Bonnier Audio (C-461/10) is scheduled on Thursday, 30th of June;
  • First hearing in Sabam (C-360/10) is scheduled on Thursday, 7th of July;
  • Judgment in L'Oréal and Others (C-324/09) is scheduled on Tuesday, 12th of July;
  • and finally, Bundesgerichtshof again. Eight senate has decided very interesting case of eBay's account abuse (VIII ZR 289/09). Short blogpost "BGH zum Missbrauch eines eBay-Kontos" from Thomas Stadler could be consulted here.

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