Judgment of the EU Court of Justice on the nature of the intermediation service of Uber

With judgment dated 20th December 2017, in proceedings n. C-434/15, the EU Court of Justice ruled that the service provided by Uber is an intermediation service, the purpose of which is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers that use their own vehicle and persons who wish to make urban journeys. Uber services must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as “a service in the field of transport” within the meaning of Article 58(1) TFEU. Consequently, such a service must be excluded from the scope of Article 56 TFEU, Directive 2006/123 and Directive 2000/31.

Visiting Attorney Program at SLM

On 4 December 2017, Karl Depypere, from Antwerp (Belgium) started a two weeks visit at Studio Legale Mordiglia in the Genoa offices. Karl is an attorney at Roosendaal Keyzer, a Belgian law firm with a long standing relationship with Studio Legale Mordiglia. During his visit, he was involved in some cases and had the chance to familiarise himself with Italian procedure. He got aquainted with the way Italian law firms and the Genovese shipping market work and hosted a seminar titled “The Flinterstar – First steps in handling a Belgian Collision case”.

Diritto del Commercio Internazionale

Marco Lopez de Gonzalo published an article on Diritto del Commercio Internazionale vol. 2/2017 entitled “Intellectual property and punitive damages before the Eurpean Court of Justice”.

Marco Lopez de Gonzalo also published on vol. 3/2017 of the same journal an article entitled “The Italian Court of Cassation changed opinion on punitive damages”.

Traineeship at SLM

On 23rd October 2017, Vesna Poles, from Koper (Slovenia) started a three months Erasmus Traineeship at Studio Legale Mordiglia in Genoa offices. Vesna has a bachelor’s degree in law, achieved at the University of Ljubljana and is currently completing a master’s degree in law at the same University. She is writing a dissertation entitled “On-line sharing platforms: legal regulation and competition law”.

Law on implementation of European Directives

By Law No 163/2017 Italian parliament empowered the Government to implement European Directives concerning European rail system, mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation, tax avoidance practices, reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision.

The same law also empowered the Government to update domestic law in compliance with EU Regulation No 679/2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, which will enter into force on 25th May 2018.

 

Twenty-third EMLO annual conference

On 2 – 3 November 2017, the  twenty-third EMLO (European Maritime Law Organization) annual conference (“Global Alliances: Policy considerations, Brexit and Competition Law”) will be held in Hamburg at CARLS an der Elbphilharmonie and NRV Yacht Club. Marco Lopez de Gonzalo, with a presentation on Shipping Finance, will attend the conference as speaker. A summary of the event can be found here.

Airport handling and contract for third parties’ benefit

By judgement no. 21850 issued on 20th September 2017, the Italian Court of Cassation held that the relationship among the air carrier, handling operator and cargo interests does not give rise to a contract for third parties benefit, thus excluding the existence of a contractual relationship between the handling operator and cargo interests. The Court based its decision on the assumption that the handling operator must be qualified just as a carrier’s servant, so that the contractual liability for loss of and/or damage to the goods can be claimed to the carrier only. As a carrier’s servant, the handling operator is subject to the 1999 Montreal Convention and can take advantage of the same exemptions and limitations of liability which are provided in favor of the air carrier.

On-line contracts and agreements for the choice of jurisdiction

By judgement no. 21622 issued on 19th September 2017, the Italian Court of Cassation held the validity of an agreement for the choice of jurisdiction referred to in a link contained in an e-mail purchase order. Said judgement is in line with the recent EU Court of Justice case law, according to which this way of concluding agreements for the choice of jurisdiction complies with Art. no. 23 of (EU) Reg. Brussels I, pursuant to which “any communication by electronic means which provides a durable record of the agreement shall be equivalent to writing”. The Court of Justice therefore clarified that the insertion of said agreements in general terms and conditions that can be downloaded through the access to a web site does not prevent the parties to print and save the text of their agreement before the conclusion of the contract, thus allowing its durable record. The judgement of the Italian Supreme Court is going to have significant effects also on tourism and transport of passengers, where the on-line conclusion of contracts is getting very frequent.