most interesting rulings

Distinctive character of a trademark

To obtain protection for a trademark the owner must prove that a sign has a distinctive character, i.e. it is not merely descriptive. But it is often unclear whether this is the case.

Where the outcome of one case may determine how the next one is adjudicated

The Supreme Court recently examined the question of courts being bound by final judgments issued in other cases. This issue relates to the binding nature of a judgment from a substantive point of view, i.e. that the same claim cannot be heard again once adjudicated upon. This is an issue of considerable practical relevance because it determines how the outcome of one case can affect how comparable cases are adjudicated. It also defines the boundaries with respect to a court’s freedom to ascertain facts and make legal evaluations by itself.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) did not determine whether rule of law is breached in Poland

The judgment issued on 25 July following a request for a preliminary ruling from an Irish court in case C-216/18 PPU L.M. does not essentially differ from the opinion issued by the advocate general. The CJEU stated specifically the circumstances in which the executing authority can find an exception to the principle of mutual recognition, but placed the final decision in the hands of the national court executing the European arrest warrant.

Louboutin wins case to defend red-soled shoes as a trademark

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has ruled that Christian Louboutin’s famous red sole does not consist solely of a shape that significantly increases the value of a product, and therefore can be registered as a trademark. This is an important victory for the fashion designer in the long-running battle concerning red-soled shoes.

The Commission pushes forward on intra-EU investment protection

Earlier this year, the European Commission scored an important success in its campaign against intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties. The CJEU’s judgment in the Achmea case1 confirmed the Commission’s standpoint that a system that allows an investor from one EU Member State to challenge in international arbitration measures taken against its investment by another, host EU Member State, is incompatible with EU law.

Is an unexamined complaint an approved complaint?

The Act on Consideration of Complaints by Financial Market Entities and on the Financial Ombudsman provides that a complaint not resolved within the stated period “is regarded as” resolved in accordance with the customer’s request. In a surprising resolution, the Supreme Court recently ruled that this does not mean that a delay in consideration of a complaint mandates that it is resolved in the customer’s favour, but such a delay merely increases the burden faced by the entity during litigation. If, of course, the matter ever reaches the courts. Was this what the legislature intended?