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Enlistment of Community protected sites can only be contested on environmental grounds, EU Court says
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Member States can only refuse to give their agreement to the list of protected sites of Community importance drawn up by the Commission on environmental grounds, following some ambiguity as to the circumstances surrounding the development of a protected site in Germany.

Germany's age law ruled incompatible with EU Directives
The European Court of Justice has ruled that European Union law, more particularly the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age as given expression by Directive 2000/78, precludes national legislation. As such, a German law which provides that periods of employment completed by an employee before reaching the age of 25 are not taken into account in calculating the notice period for dismissal, was deemed discriminatory and must be dis-applied by the national courts.

EU and India launch biotechnology and health pilot programme
India and EU Member States have launched NEW INDIGO, a Networking Pilot Programme (NPP) on biotechnology and health. Their objective is to establish a joint infrastructure for advanced research in this growing and significant field. NEW INDIGO ('Initiative for the development and integration of Indian and European research') has received almost EUR 2.5 million under the 'Horizontal actions and measures in support of international cooperation' (INCO) priority of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Germany's restriction on Polish labour deemed discriminatory
Germany has infringed Community law by restricting to its own undertakings alone the possibility of entering into contracts with Polish undertakings in respect of work to be carried out within its territory, ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Labelling the restrictions as discriminatory, the ECJ found that they could not be justified by any reasonable means.

EU Court sets guidelines for cross-border insolvency proceedings
Once initial insolvency proceedings have been opened in an EU Member State, the competent authorities of another Member State are, in principle, required to recognize and enforce all judgements relating to the main insolvency proceedings, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled. As such, they are not entitled to order enforcement measures on the insolvent company's assets situated in its territory when the legislation of the State of the opening of proceedings does not so permit.

EU Court outlines unfair practice guidelines for consumer driven lottery
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that allowing customers to take part in a lottery free of charge following a certain number of purchases does not automatically constitute an unfair commercial practice, following a request from the German Federal Court of Justice.

CASELEX:EU:2009:120 - IP Law - Exhaustion of trade mark proprietor’s rights
This reference for a preliminary ruling was made by the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court of the Netherlands) (Netherlands) in proceedings between the applicants, Makro Zelfbedieningsgroothandel CV (‘Makro’), Metro Cash & Carry BV and Remo Zaandam BV, on the one hand, and the defendant, Diesel SpA (‘Diesel’), on the other hand, with regard to the marketing by Makro of shoes bearing a trade mark owned by Diesel, without Diesel’s express consent.

CASELEX:EU:2008:92 - IP Law - Trade marks - Pharmaceutical products
The reference was made by the Oberster Gerichtshof (Austria) in the course of proceedings between The Wellcome Foundation Ltd (‘Wellcome’), proprietor of the Austrian trade mark ZOVIRAX, and Paranova Pharmazeutika Handels GmbH (‘Paranova’), concerning pharmaceutical products under the ZOVIRAX trade mark, marketed in Member States of the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) by Wellcome or by third parties, and the subject of parallel importation by Paranova and marketing by the latter in Austria, after having been repackaged.

CASELEX:EU:2006:16 - IP Law -Works communicated by means of television sets installed in hotel rooms
This reference was made by the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spain) in the context of proceedings between the applicant, the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE) and the defendant, Rafael Hoteles SA (‘Rafael’), concerning the alleged infringement, by the latter, of intellectual property rights managed by SGAE.

CASELEX:EU:2007:81 Article 234 EC- Jurisdiction of the Court - Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation
The question referred by the Supremo Tribunal de Justiça (Portugal) in proceedings between the applicant, Merck Genéricos – Produtos Farmacêuticos Ldª (‘Merck Genéricos’) and Merck & Co. Inc. (M & Co.) and the defendant, Merck Sharp & Dohme Ldª (‘MSL’) concerning the alleged violation by Merck Genéricos of a patent held by M & Co. in Portugal.

CASELEX:EU:2009:109 - IP Law - The concept ‘provision of services’ - Contract assigning intellectual property rights.
This reference for a preliminary ruling was made by the Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court) (Austria) in proceedings between the applicants, Falco Privatstiftung, a foundation established in Vienna (Austria), and Mr Thomas Rabitsch, residing in Vienna (Austria), on the one hand and the defendant, Ms Gisela Weller-Lindhorst, domiciled in Munich (Germany), on the other hand, concerning, first, the performance of a contract pursuant to which the applicants in the main proceedings have licensed the defendant in the main proceedings to market, in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, video recordings of a concert and, second, the marketing, without any contractual basis, of audio recordings of the same concert.

CASELEX:EU:2009:92 - IP Law - counterfeit goods and piracy
On 10 May 2007, on the basis of Article 5(4) of Regulation No 1383/2003, Davidoff lodged an application with the Oberfinanzdirektion Nürnberg (Nuremberg Principal Revenue Office), now the Bundesfinanzdirektion Südost, for border seizure of goods suspected of infringing 12 internationally registered trade marks, of which it is holder.

Maximum age limits for some professions is permissible, says Court
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delegated the application of age limits for the recruitment of certain professionals, such as dentistry and fire fighting, to the authority of the national courts, due to the health responsibility attached to those professions.

EU Court rules on cross-border custody of children
The European Court of Justice ruled that a court of an EU Member State in which a child resides cannot provisionally grant custody of the child to one parent if a court of another Member State, which has jurisdiction as to the substance of the case, has already given custody to the other parent.

EU court interprets insider dealing
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has clarified the elements of insider dealing following a request from the Court of Appeal of Brussels. This clarification resulted in fines totalling EUR 100 000 imposed by the relevant Belgian authority on Spector Photo Group for insider trading.

Is your milk chocolate the genuine article?
Milk chocolate is a favourite in the holiday season, and thanks to a new measurement method developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), consumers in Europe will be sure of what they are getting. This is a serious matter for a continent which accounts for up to half of the annual consumption of chocolate worldwide. The method has been accepted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), making it an international standard.

Directive 89/104/EEC – Trade-mark law – Exhaustion of trade mark proprietor’s rights – Placing of goods on the market in the European Economic Area by a third party – Implied consent – Conditions.
Article 7(1) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, as amended by the Agreement on the European Economic Area of 2 May 1992, must be interpreted as meaning that the consent of the proprietor of a trade mark to the marketing of goods bearing that mark carried out directly in the European Economic Area by a third party who has no economic link to that proprietor may be implied, in so far as such consent is to be inferred from facts and circumstances prior to, simultaneous with or subsequent to the placing of the goods on the market in that area which, in the view of the national court, unequivocally demonstrate that the proprietor has renounced his exclusive rights.

EU Court rejects numerical trademark
The Court of First Instance (CFI) has dismissed the appeal of a Polish company who sought registration for a complex sign consisting of colorful ribbons and the numerical elements ‘100’ and ‘300’, on the grounds that the sign was of a descriptive and misleading nature.

Conditions set for direct admission to legal traineeship in a Member State
Access to a legal traineeship in a Member State may be made conditional on a broad and in-depth knowledge of national law, the European Court of justice has ruled.

EU Court declares EDF compatible with common market
The General Court has annulled the Commission’s decision declaring certain fiscal measures implemented by France for EDF (Eléctricité de France) to be incompatible with the common market. on grounds that the Commission did not conduct a private investor test to back its findings.

Italian dividend tax incompatible with EU rules: Court
A new reformed tax regime for Italian-sourced dividends is incompatible with EC legislation on free movement of capital and freedom of establishment, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice on 1 December 2009.

New circumstances bypass 10 year substitution period for incorrect proceedings
During proceedings instituted incorrectly against the supplier of a defective product, the producer can be substituted for him only within a period of 10 years from the putting into circulation of the product, according to a Council directive. However, it has been ruled by the European Court that a substitution is possible after the expiry of this period if the supplier is wholly-owned by the producer.

EU court orders France Télécom to pay overdue taxes of 1140 million EUR
The European Court of Appeals has confirmed a Commission decision to order the recovery of aid granted to France Télécom in the form of tax breaks. Over a 12-year period, France Télécom benefited from state aid amounting to a potential sum of EUR 1,140 million.

Breakthrough for EU patent system
EU Member States have agreed on the main elements of the EU patent and a single European Patent Court. The agreement is seen as representing a significant step towards a final solution for the EU patent.

Main points of the EU's Lisbon Treaty
The European Union's wide-ranging Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force Tuesday, is aimed at updating and revitalising the bloc's institutions and replacing its failed constitution.