The European Court of Justice has confirmed that the nationals of other Member States of the EU may be refused certain social benefits during the first three months of their residence in a different Member State

JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT (First Chamber) 25 February 2016 (ECLI:EU:C:2016:114)

The ECJ decided on 25th February 2016 that the Member States are allowed to exclude nationals of other Member States from certain social benefits. The ruling made it clear that the German authorities had the prerogative to refuse European jobseekers and their children subsistence benefits during the first three months of their stay in Germany.

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The French Constitutional Council (Conseil constitutionnel) sanctioned the phenomenon of reverse discrimination

Conseil constitutionnel, 03/02/2016, décision 2015-520 QPC, Société Metro Holding France SA venant aux droits de la société CRFP Cash [Application du régime fiscal des sociétés mères aux produits de titres auxquels ne sont pas attachés des droits de vote] – Non conformité totale

In the present case the French Constitutional Council (Conseil constitutionnel) was requested to examine the constitutionality of Article 145-6-b ter of the French General Tax Code, which taxed the distribution of shares between parent and subsidiary companies.

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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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The French Supreme Court clarifies the conditions whether a brewery can benefit from the reduced rate of excise duty regarding alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre commerciale, 5 janvier 2016, 13-17063

In the present case rules on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages are discussed.

The company «Brasserie Bouquet» operated a restaurant in which it sold beer it produced itself. On 10 December 1998 the «Brasserie Bouquet» entered into an agreement entitled «contrat d’affiliation au Cercle des 3 brasseurs » (Affiliation agreement for the Circle of the Three Brewers) with the company ICO 3 B.

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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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