Vorsprung durch Technik? Audi scores victory in trade mark appeal before the EU General Court

On 12 July 2019, the EU General Court (GC) dismissed an appeal (Audimas v EUIPO – Audi (AUDIMAS)) from a Lithuanian sportswear company, whose trade mark was successfully opposed by the German automobile manufacturer Audi. In October 2014, the applicant, Audimas AB, obtained through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) an international registration for the mark displayed below, designating the European Union (EU) as one of the protection territories. The mark above represents the applicant company’s name in black font, with stylised open and closing brackets right above the word…

What have we learned from the Senior Managers and Certification Regime? | Employment Law Blog

With the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SMCR”) due to be extended to all regulated financial services firms in six months’ time (9 December 2019), we reflect on three key learning points from the regime which has already been in place for banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA- designated investment firms since March 2016.  The aim of the SMCR regime is, of course, to improve conduct and accountability in financial services with FCA approval required before senior managers take on new roles and those individuals having to agree statements…

EU Law Analysis: Should the EU sanction its Member States for breaches of rule of law and human rights? Part 1: The Legal Framework

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex I’ve taught EU law and human rights for over twenty years now, and the issue of sanctions against Member States for human rights breaches used to be the easy bit. Why? Because the procedure to enforce such sanctions (set out in Article 7 TEU) had never been used – and there was no apparent prospect that it ever would be. So there was no need to discuss it in any detail. A more theoretical sort of academic might have spent time counting the angels…

The beginning of the end for Poland’s so-called “judicial reforms”? Some thoughts on the ECJ ruling in Commission v Poland (Independence of the Supreme Court case)

Laurent Pech, Professor of European Law, Middlesex University London Sébastien Platon, Professor of Public Law, University of Bordeaux Surely we cannot be talking about a country belonging to the EU. Sadly, you would be wrong to think so. Indeed, the retirement measure described above was at the heart of the infringement action initiated by the European Commission against Poland last July and which resulted, earlier this week, in the European Court of Justice’s first ruling on the compatibility with EU law of one of Poland’s so-called “judicial reforms”.  This post…

More majority voting on EU social policy? Assessing the Commission proposal

Ane Aranguiz, PhD Candidate, University of Antwerp On 16 April 2019 the Commission launched the discussion on how to render decision-making process at EU level more efficient in the social field by activating the passerelle clauses and moving from unanimity to qualified majority voting (QMV) and from special to ordinary legislative procedure without undergoing an unwieldly process of Treaty reforms – although a unanimous vote of Member States is still necessary to approve this change. The passerelle clauses are part of a number of ‘flexibility mechanisms’ introduced by the Lisbon…

EU General Court rules Adidas’ three-stripe trade mark invalid

On 19 June 2019, the EU General Court (GC) ruled that the three-stripe EU trade mark (EUTM) owned by Adidas was invalid. It upheld the earlier decision of the EU Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) Second Board of Appeal, which had found that the trade mark at issue was ‘extremely simple’ and devoid of any distinctive character, both inherent and acquired through use. The trade mark in dispute was originally registered on 21 May 2014. It covered clothing, footwear and headgear (class 25 of the Nice Classification system) and was identified…

The European Parliament in the negotiations for reform of the Common European Asylum System

EU Law Analysis: Unfinished Business: The European Parliament in the negotiations for reform of the Common European Asylum System Unfinished Business: The European Parliament in the negotiations for reform of the Common European Asylum System Salvo Nicolosi (RENFORCE – Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe) While a new European Union legislature is about to start on 2 July 2019, it is not certain to what extent the new European Parliament will inherit and continue the work of the previous one in one of the most delicate areas under…

European Arrest Warrants and independence of public prosecutors

EU Law Analysis: CJEU: European Arrest Warrants and independence of public prosecutors CJEU: European Arrest Warrants and independence of public prosecutors Julia Burchett, PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles and the University of Grenoble The European Arrest Warrant, regularly presented as “the flagship” of EU criminal law, is in practice one of the most used mechanisms (if not the most used) of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It consists of a simplified cross-border judicial surrender procedure for the purpose of prosecuting or executing a custodial sentence or detention…

a Brand New EU Agency in Bratislava

EU Law Analysis: The European Labour Authority: a Brand New EU Agency in Bratislava The European Labour Authority: a Brand New EU Agency in Bratislava Bartłomiej Bednarowicz, PhD Researcher at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp On Thursday, the Council decided that Bratislava will host the headquarters of a brand new EU agency: the European Labour Authority (ELA). The idea for the ELA was spelt out by President Juncker already in September 2017 in his annual State of the Union address. Juncker viewed ELA’s main mission to…

Jonathan Sumption’s view of human rights makes no sense in relation to the history of gay rights

EU Law Analysis: Jonathan Sumption’s view of human rights makes no sense in relation to the history of gay rights Jonathan Sumption’s view of human rights makes no sense in relation to the history of gay rights Jonathan Sumption, in his Reith Lecture “Human Rights and Wrongs”, attempts to persuade us that the European Court of Human Rights has usurped the power of democratically elected governments by way of an ever expanding interpretation and application of the European Convention on Human Rights. Sumption claims that the Court is continually adding…