BGH changes tune on trademark forfeiture

In a judgment from January 14, 2021, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) – Germany’s Federal Supreme Court – overruled its own legal precedent on the forfeiture of trademarks (Az.: I ZR 40/20) in finding that failure to make use of a trademark means forfeiting trademark protection.

Bundeskartellamt issues fines in response to illegal price fixing

The Bundeskartellamt – Germany’s Federal Cartel Office – has imposed fines totaling around 6 million euros on two foundries for entering into anticompetitive agreements regarding prices and discounts.

KG Berlin: Commercial rent reduction in response to closures related to COVID-19

In a judgment from April 1, 2021, the Kammergericht (KG) Berlin – the Berlin Court of Appeal – ruled that commercial rent can be lowered by 50 percent in response to a closure related to COVID-19 (Az.: 8 U 1099/20).

Finanzgericht Düsseldorf: No tax exemption for flat-rate bonuses

Bonuses for night work and working on Sundays are only tax exempt if they are awarded on an individual and not a flat-rate basis. That was the verdict of the Finanzgericht (FG) Düsseldorf – the Fiscal court of Düsseldorf – in a judgment from November 27, 2020.

Indications of origin: Black Forest ham need not be sliced in the Black Forest

Black Forest ham (Schwarzwälder Schinken) may be referred to as such even if it is not sliced and packaged in the Black Forest. That was the verdict of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Supreme Court (Az.: I ZB 72/19).

LAG Düsseldorf: Short-time workers on zero hours do not accumulate vacation leave

Short-time working – Kurzarbeit in German – refers to a government scheme that allows businesses experiencing economic difficulties to temporarily reduce their employees’ working hours, with the state making up for all or part of the lost wages. Many firms have had recourse to this program for reasons related to COVID-19. The Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Düsseldorf …

Greensill Bank: Customers unable to access their money – BaFin orders moratorium

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufischt (BaFin) – Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority – has closed down Greensill Bank’s business operations with its customers and filed criminal charges. Private investors as well as institutional investors and municipalities fear losing their money at the bank.

BaFin determines that compensation is payable to depositors of insolvent Greensill Bank

As was to be expected, the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufischt (BaFin) – Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority – has determined that compensation is payable to Greensill Bank’s depositors, as the bank is no longer able to repay all of its customers’ deposits. Insolvency proceedings have also been initiated against the bank with the Amtsgericht Bremen, the …

LG Berlin overturns fine for GDPR violation

In a remarkable ruling from February 18, 2021, the Landgericht (LG) Berlin – the Regional Court of Berlin – declared a million-euro fine imposed in response to a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) invalid.

COVID-19: Provider of business closure insurance to pay out around 760,000 euros for closed bars

In a ruling from February 19, 2021, the Landgericht (LG) Düsseldorf – the Regional Court of Düsseldorf – held that the provider of business closure insurance has to pay out for bars closing in connection with the coronavirus (Az.: 40 O 53/20).