BREAKING NEWS: Data Protection Authority Calls to Stop Data Transfers Based on EU Model Clauses

By Dr. Thomas Jansen and Dr. Reka Hatala   Today the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection of the Federal State Schleswig-Holstein (“ULD”), one of the seventeen data protection authorities in Germany, published its position paper on the Safe Harbor decision of the ECJ. While most of the authorities have been cautious in connection with the …

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German DPA Imposes Significant Fine for Commissioned Data Processing Without a Proper

By: Dr. Thomas Jansen and Mari Martin On August 20, 2015, the Bavarian Data Protection Authority (DPA) issued a press release stating that it had imposed a significant fine on an organization that engaged in commissioned data processing without first concluding a proper data processing agreement. Background Pursuant to section 11 of the German Federal …

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Use of customer data following an asset deal results in huge fines for seller and buyer

Dr. Thomas Jansen and Dr. Reka Hatala The Bavarian Data Protection Authority imposed an extraordinarily high fine for violating the data protection laws in the course of a company acquisition. According to the Authority´s press release dated 30 July 2015, both the seller and buyer in the acquisition were fined a five digit amount each …

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Indemnity claim for franchisees? Good news and bad news from Germany

Some people say franchising doesn’t play a big role in Germany. A number of recent court decisions has proven the opposite. One of the hottest topics under German distribution law is in the focus again. In February 2015 the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof or “BGH“) had to decide the highly debated question whether …

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“Huawei v ZTE” – CJEU landmark decision provides new ground rules for asserting standard-essential patents in Europe

In a landmark decision issued on July 16, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)  provided new guidelines on how patent infringement courts in Europe should deal with patent proprietors seeking injunctions or the recall of products on the basis of an (alleged) infringement of a standard-essential patent (SEP) if those SEP …

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2015 – The year of the patent trolls?

According to a recent survey of the US organization Unified Patents (published on the website of the online portal arstechnica, please click here), the number of lawsuits in the US has again rised. In the first half of 2015, 68 percent of all patent lawsuits were filed by patent trolls. In the high-tech sector, even about 90 percent of all patent …

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Handle with care – the Commission’s agenda on trade secrets protection

The Commission’s proposal for a “DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure” (the “Directive”) is meant to bring the protection of trade secrets to a new level. An article looking at key elements of the …

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Clawback Extended: Retention of Title in Legal Limbo

Retention of title (Eigentumsvorbehalt) is a standard tool in German business for granting security in supply relationships. Usually, it is granted as an extended and/or expanded retention of title (verlängerter und/oder erweiterter Eigentumsvorbehalt). Basically, the supplier receives a revolving security to the delivered movable assets until receipt of all payments under the business relationship. According …

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Update on EU General Data Protection Regulation: Preparation for Trilogue on 14th July

On 14th July 2015 the next trilogue meeting between EU Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will be held. At that meeting the parties will discuss the following topics: Article 3(2) – Territorial scope Article 25 – Representatives of controllers not established in the Union Chapter V – Transfers of personal …

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Synopsis of EU General Data Protection Regulation

Today the Bavarian Data Protection Supervisory Authority (Bayerisches Landesamt für Datenschutzaufsicht) has published a synopsis of the three most relevant versions of the planned EU General Data Protection Regulation. The synopsis provides a good overview of the changes to the drafts submitted by the EU Commission on 25 January 2012, the outcome of the first …

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German Federal High Court qualifies refusal of consent for legal Adword-advertisement of a competitor as unfair commercial practice

The German Federal High Court (“BGH”) ruled on 12 March 2015 that the refusal of a trademark owner to give his consent to the legal use of its trademark in an Adword-advertisement of a competitor constitutes an illegal deliberate obstruction of a competitor according to section 4 no. 10 of the German Unfair Competition Act (BGH …

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Breaking News – EU Ministers have sealed a general approach on the proposed Data Protection Regulation

Today, Ministers in the Justice Council have sealed a general approach on the Commission proposal on the Data Protection Regulation. Modern, harmonised data protection rules will contribute to making Europe fit for the digital age and are a step forward to the EU Digital Single Market. Trilogue negotiations with the Parliament and the Council will …

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New IT Security Act Intensifies Duties Of Providers

On June 12, 2015, the German Parliament passed the IT Security Act (IT-Sicherheitsgesetz). The law provides, inter alia, that operators of so-called critical infrastructure must meet a minimum level of IT security, install protection tools to ensure the security and notify the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik – …

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Different Approaches of IP Organization within Companies

Usually, companies have long-established structures of maintaining their IP. However, there are different approaches to the organization structures. Interestingly, a recent poll of the IP management service provider Helios IP shows that only little more than half of the companies appears to favor a centralized approach. The other half tends towards different variations of the …

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