United Kingdom

Supplies of education and training that had been made by the BBC were found to be exempted from VAT

[2016] EWCA Civ 114 (02 March 2016)

This case arose out of a claim brought by the British Broadcasting Corporation (“the BBC”) for the repayment of VAT on supplies of services to the Open University (“the OU”) on the ground that the supplies were exempt under Article 13A(1)(i) of Directive 77/388/EEC (“the Sixth VAT Directive”) as supplies of education or training. The services consisted of the production and broadcasting of television and radio programmes relating to OU courses.

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Operators of a mobile application were found to infringe copyrights in television broadcasts by uploading clips of broadcasts of cricket matches

England And Wales Cricket Board Ltd & Anor v Tixdaq Ltd & Anor [2016] EWHC 575 (Ch) (18 March 2016)

The Claimants contended that the Defendants had infringed their copyrights under Article 2(d) and (e) of Directive 2001/29/EC (“the Information Society Directive”) by uploading a considerable number of clips of broadcasts of cricket matches to one of the Defendats’ mobile applications (“the App”). The Claimants were the owners of the copyrights in television broadcasts, and in films incorporated within such broadcasts, of most cricket matches played by the England men’s and women’s cricket teams in England and Wales. The Defendants denied infringement, relying primarily upon the defence of fair dealing for the purposes of reporting current events according to Article 5(3)(c) of the Information Society Directive and secondarily upon immunities for acting as a mere conduit and hosting under Articles 12 and 14 of Directive 2000/31/EC (“the E-Commerce Directive”).

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Google was found not to restrict competition from competing suppliers of online maps in Great Britain by the prominent and preferential display of Google Maps

Streetmap.EU Ltd v Google Inc. & Ors [2016] EWHC 253 (Ch) (12 February 2016)

The claimant (Streetmap.eu Limited) contended that the defendants (“Google” for simplicity) had abused a dominant position in general search engines by the prominent and preferential display given to their own related online map product, thereby restricting competition from competing suppliers of online maps in Great Britain according to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”).

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CARTIER and MONTBLANC were granted a website-blocking order so that their trade marks would not be infringed by marketing cheap copies

Cartier International Ltd & Anor v British Telecommunications Plc & Ors [2016] EWHC 339 (Ch) (23 February 2016)

In this case an injunction for blocking access to certain websites was sought according to Article 11 of Directive 2004/48/EC. The claimants owned registered trade marks which they used for the advertising and sale of their luxury goods. The defendants were the five main internet service providers (‘ISPs’) in the United Kingdom. It was alleged that certain websites were being used by their operators to infringe the claimants’ trade marks by marketing goods under those marks, typically cheap copies of the claimants’ goods.

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The London Taxi Company lost a case for trade mark infringement where the defendants succeeded in their allegations for invalidly registered trade marks

The London Taxi Corporation Ltd (t/a The London Taxi Company) v Frazer-Nash Research Ltd & Anor [2016] EWHC 52 (Ch) (20 January 2016)

This case concerned trade mark infringement under Article 5(1)(b) of the European Parliament and Council Directive 2008/95/EC/ Article 9(1)(b) of Council Regulation 207/2009/EC and Article 5(2) of the Directive/ Article 9(1)(c) of the Regulation. The claimant’s complaint regarded the shape of the defendants’ taxi which it alleged had been substantially copied from the shape of its own model of London taxi. On the other hand, the defendants contended that trade marks of the claimant had been invalidly registered and in the alternative that the CTM (a three-dimensional trade mark) should be revoked for non-use.

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Does “environmental damage” include the prevention or deceleration of recovery from an existing, already-damaged environmental state? The EWH Court answered in the negative.

Seiont, Gwyrfai and Llyfni Anglers’ Society, R (on the application of) v Natural Resources Wales & Ors [2015] EWHC 3578 (Admin) (17 December 2015)

This case raises the important issue of whether, for the purposes of Article 2(2) of the Environmental Liability Directive (EU Directive 2004/35/EC), “damage” includes the prevention or deceleration of recovery from an existing, already-damaged environmental state; or whether it is restricted to a deterioration from an existing state. The claimant sought to challenge the decision of Natural Resources Wales (“NRW”) on its notification to it that environmental damage had been caused by discharges into the lake Llyn Padarn.

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The England and Wales Court of Appeal compels the Environment Agency to issue a standard rules environmental permit for the recovery of waste

Tarmac Aggregates Ltd, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs & Anor [2015] EWCA Civ 1149 (17 November 2015)

This case is concerned with a standard rules environmental permit that is required in relation to operations involving use of waste which constitute the recovery of the waste as described in Article 3(15) of Directive 2008/98/EC (the Waste Framework Directive).

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The England and Wales High Court confirms the grant of an authorisation for emergency use of plant protection products

Friends of the Earth Ltd, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food And Rural Affairs [2015] EWHC 3283 (Admin) (12 November 2015)

This case is about the placing on the market of plant protection products under Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. In derogation from the common rules of the Regulation, in special circumstances a Member State may authorise the placing on the market of plant protection products, for limited and controlled use, where such a measure appears necessary because of a danger which cannot be contained by any other reasonable means.

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Return of a child to his country of habitual residence in a case of clear child abduction

L (Grave Risk of Harm) (Child’s Objections) [2015] EWHC 3300 (Fam) (16 November 2015)

In this case, where a father seeks the return of his son to his country of habitual residence (Bulgaria), the main issues for determination under Article 13 of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 are whether a return of the child (L) to Bulgaria would expose him to a grave risk of psychological or physical harm or otherwise place him in an intolerable situation and whether L objects to returning to Bulgaria, and has attained an age and degree of maturity at which his views should be taken into account.

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The new country guidance in the UK on the risk on return for followers of the Sikh and Hindu religions in Afghanistan

TG and others (Afghan Sikhs persecuted) (CG) [2015] UKUT 595 (IAC) (3 November 2015)

This case is identified as a country guidance on the risk on return for followers of the Sikh and Hindu religions in Afghanistan where the essential questions are whether the current situation in Kabul is such that they would be at risk of persecution if removed per se according to Article 9 of Directive 2004/83/EC and the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention) and whether the rights stated in Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) would be violated if removed. Some members of the Sikh and Hindu communities continue to suffer harassment at the hands of Muslim zealots but not all of them are at risk in Afghanistan. Whether any form of discrimination amount to persecution such as to entitle an individual to a grant of international protection is fact sensitive, and will depend upon the individual’s particular characteristics, wealth and background.

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