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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Don't miss Motor Law's annual conference

Make sure you book your place for the annual conference on 26 February! Among the many attractions will be a talk on the recent report for the European Commission on access to repair and maintenance information - which I wrote about on this blog, and in the newsletter, a few weeks ago. We are very fortunate to have Miguel Troncoso Ferrer from Gomez-Acebo & Pombo coming from Brussels to talk to us about it: he is one of the authors of the original report, and what he has to tell us about this interesting and very important area of law will be fascinating for everyone in the industry - vehicle manufacturers, parts makers, repairers, workshop manual publishers, diagnostic equipment and tool makers, and roadside repair organisations. Don't miss it!

Details are at You can also download a booking form from the website, or contact us at

Driverless cars - regulatory review

The government published two important documents (a summary report and action plan, and a detailed review of the regulations) on "The pathway to driverless cars" on 11 February: they are available from here.

Japanese ex-employee of Nissan arrested for trade secret theft

World Intellectual Property Review reports this story here. It wouldn't happen in this country: first, the offence is set out in Japan's Unfair Competition Act, and we don't have anything like that (competition is allowed to be unfair, it's only when it becomes unlawful that the law intervenes), and second even if we did it would be unlikely to include any criminal offences. Interesting, though, especially at a time when there's an EU directive on the subject on the table.

How refreshing, incidentally, to see the word "data" correctly treated as a plural.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

BBC News - Driverless car review launched by UK government

BBC News  reports the launch of a review covering the legal implications of driverless cars.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

BBC News - EU law targets foreign rogue drivers to curb offences

BBC News reports that an EU law being discussed by the European Parliament will target foreign rogue drivers to curb offences.

About time too! The UK was one of three Member States not to sign up to an earlier arrangement - and consequently will not have to implement the new rules until 2017.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Motor Law Conference 2015 - 26 February at the RAC

The annual Motor Law Conference brings together industry leaders and delegates in discussion on all the current legal issues and provides an excellent opportunity for networking with industry colleagues.

Key areas for discussion this year will include the latest developments concerning the block exemption in the context of the Commission's CARS 2020 project: the recent report on access to repair and maintenance information: and how the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will affect the industry. We will also look at developments in intellectual property law of significance for the motor industry and collective redress, and there will be updates on consumer credit law and consumer law.

As usual our team of expert speakers, under our regular chairman, David Evans, will consider how the motor industry is adapting or should adapt to deal with the challenges presented. The conference again provided the ideal opportunity for delegates, lawyers and non-lawyers alike, to meet colleagues and join in the debate.

You can download a booking form from here. Further details including the programme are on the Motor Law website here.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Court: Fiat contract termination invalid

Gericht: Fiat-Vertragsk├╝ndigung unwirksam reports the KFZ-Betrieb website (which evidently does not limit itself to trucks). Google Translate has provided me with this (tidied up a little) and I think I can safely say that its use falls within section 30(2). FIAT had cancelled all 550 dealer agreements and 900 authorised repairer agreements in Germany.

The Regional Court (Landgericht) Frankfurt has declared the termination of all FIAT's dealers' contracts  invalid (AZ: 3-08 O 113/14). ... A board member of the Association had filed a fundamental lawsuit against the dismissals of the Alfa dealer contract and the Fiat, Alfa and Jeep service contracts.
Fiat had terminated nationwide every dealer and service contract in February 2014, after it had come into force on 1 January 2014. Originally, the importer had promised the partners long-term planning security with these contracts. Among other things, this circumstance, the General Court now considered to be relevant that the dismissal was contrary to good faith, according to the association. Especially also because Fiat had insufficient grounds to recite that dismissal is only a few weeks after the introduction of the contracts was necessary due to changed circumstances.
Already in December a different chamber of the LG Frankfurt had declared invalid clauses from the Letter of Intent from Fiat Germany to selected Fiat partner, because traders should therefore continue without any review of new contracts. Therefore, the judgment regarding the dismissals have far-reaching consequences, according to the association.
The intention of Fiat to reduce margins drastically redefine the margins at its discretion in model changes was, just questioned how the envisaged by the importer subject to the changes to the standards, according to the release. Both schemes make the new contracts for the incalculable dealer trade body. They would therefore rejected by the vast majority of its members in any case.

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