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Tobias Lutzi

Written by Tobias Lutzi, University of Cologne

One of the biggest winners of the current pandemic (other than toilet paper producers, conspiracy theorists, and the climate) seems to be the former Silicon Valley startup Zoom, whose videoconferencing solutions have seen its number of daily users increase about thirtyfold since the end of 2019. While the company’s success in a market otherwise dominated by some of the world’s wealthiest corporations has taken many people – including investors – by surprise, it can be attributed to a number of factors – arguably including its software’s highly popular virtual-background feature.

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Art. 17 of the Rome II Regulation, which transposes an element of US conflicts theory (the concept of local data) into a European choice-of-law instrument, is certainly one of the more controversial provisions of the Regulation. It stipulates that

[i]n assessing the conduct of the person claimed to be liable, account shall be taken, as a matter of fact and in so far as is appropriate, of the rules of safety and conduct which were in force at the place and time of the event giving rise to the liability.

In a highly illustrative decision of 27 March 2020 (1 U 95/19), the Higher Regional Court of Cologne (upholding a decision from the Regional Court of Bonn) has provided a textbook example of its application in practice.

In case you are looking for something to read while many parts of the world are under some form of lockdown, you may be pleased to learn that the conference volume of the 2nd German-Speaking Conference for Young Scholars in PIL, which took place at University of Würzburg in 2019, has recently been published. It includes nine contributions by young researchers, including two English papers, on the conference theme of PIL between Tradition and Innovation as well as a keynote address by Professor Jürgen Basedow. Further information can be found on the publisher’s website.

What is more, the date and theme for the next iteration of the conference have just been announced. The conference will take place on 18 and 19 March 2021 (when Corona lockdowns will hopefully be no more than a distant memory) at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg and explore the theme of PIL for a better world: Vision – Reality – Aberration?. Further information can be found in the German and English Save-the-Date announcements as well as on the conference website.

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For the fourth consecutive year, the Annual Conference of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) will feature a section dedicated to Conflict of Laws. This year’s iteration of the conference will take place from 1 to 4 September 2020 at the University of Exeter (more information here). The conveners of the Conflict of Laws section, Andrew Dickinson and Máire Ní Shúilleabháin, have kindly provided the following Call for Papers.

SLS Conflict of Laws Section: Call for Papers and Panels for 2020 SLS Annual Conference at the University of Exeter

This is a call for papers and panels for the Conflict of Laws section of the 2020 SLS Annual Conference to be held at the University of Exeter from Tuesday 1st  September – Friday 4th September. 

The XXth volume of the Yearbook of Private International Law has just been published. Ilaria Pretelli, who has edited this volume together with Andrea Bonomi and Gian Paolo Romano, has been so kind as to provide not only the following teaser but also the Table of Contents and Foreword to

The new 20th volume (2018/2019) of the Yearbook of Private International Law contains over 30 articles on the most important aspects of private international law by authors from all over the world. You will find inspiring articles on the law of non-recognised states, the American restatement on international arbitration, the recognition of so-called marriage for all in Europe and, highly topical, a contribution to the Hague Judgments Convention and the reform of the Brussels IIa Regulation.

Written by Felix M. Wilke, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Must a foreign judgment be recognised in which a jurisdiction agreement has been applied incorrectly, i.e. in which a court wrongly assumed to be competent or wrongly declined jurisdiction? Within the European Union, the basic answer is a rather straightforward “yes”. Recognition can only be refused on the grounds set forth in Article 45(1) Brussels Ibis Regulation, and unlike Article 7(1)(d) of the recently adopted HCCH Judgments Convention, none of them covers this scenario. What is more, Article 45(3) Brussels Ibis expressly states that the jurisdiction of the court of origin, save for certain instances of protected parties, may not be reviewed, not even under the guise of public policy.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Austrian Private International Law Act, the Interdisciplinary Association of Comparative and Private International Law (IACPIL/IGKK) will be hosting a lecture series in Vienna, starting from 11 December 2019. The lectures will address the future role of the national PIL codifications of EU member states and the application of the Austrian Act during the last decades. Given the comparative focus of the lectures, the organisers are kindly inviting colleagues from all jurisdictions to attend and participate in the discussions. The working languages will be German and English.

A flyer with more information can be found here, the address for registration is

written by Tobias Lutzi

Last week’s decision by the CJEU in Case C-172/18 AMS Neve has rightly received a lot of attention from IP lawyers (see the comments by Eleonora Rosati on IPKat; Terence Cassar et al. on Lexology; James Nurton on; see also Geert van Calster on As it adds another piece to the puzzle of international jurisdiction for online infringements of IP rights, it also seems suitable for discussion on this blog.

The EU Framework of International Jurisdiction for Online Infringements of IP rights

The rules on international jurisdiction established by EU instruments differ depending on the specific type of IP right in question.