Pursuant to the “license barrier” rule in Sec. 4j German Income Tax Act, newly introduced as of 1 January 2018, arm’s length business expenses of a company incurred for the right to use intellectual property (“IP”) and certain other rights are not fully deductible from the income tax base, if (i) the corresponding licensing income of the licensor is taxed at a rate lower than 25% (“Preferential Taxation”), (ii) this low tax rate is not the standard tax rate applicable in the respective jurisdiction but results from a preferential tax regime (e.g. from a so-called “IP, patent or license box”) and (iii) the license payment is made to an affiliated entity. Continue Reading Limited German Tax Deductibility of Low-Taxed License Payments Made to Related US Entities
According to media reports, the first cease-and-desist letters have been issued in relation to alleged violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The cease-and-desist letters seem to concern, inter alia, data protection declarations on websites. In particular, the letters seem to address specific website tools (e.g., Google Fonts, Like buttons) and whether their use and description in the data protection declaration is compliant with the GDPR. Continue Reading German Legislature Announces Plans to Prevent Abusive GDPR Cease-And-Desist-Letters
Aktuellen Presseberichten zufolge sind erste Abmahnungen aufgrund von behaupteten Verstößen gegen die EU Datenschutzgrundverordnung (DSGVO) ergangen. Die ergangenen Abmahnungen betrafen etwa Datenschutzerklärungen auf Web-Seiten; im Konkreten die datenschutzkonforme Einbindung und Beschreibung von bestimmten Tools (bspw. Google-Fonts, Like Buttons). Continue Reading Deutsche Gesetzesinitiativen wollen rechtsmissbräuchliche DSGVO-Abmahnungen verhindern
On 29 May 2018, only five days after the GDPR became applicable, the Regional Court of Bonn issued the first ruling applying the GDPR in Europe (file no. 10 O 171/18). The dispute involved the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the ICANN-accredited registrar EPAG Domainservices GmbH (EPAG).
Christian Wulff, a former German Federal President who resigned in February 2012, caught the attention of the public in May 2015 with his announcement that he was back together with his ex-wife Bettina Wulff. Following this, the press published a photograph of him pushing a cart at the parking lot of a supermarket next to his wife, Bettina Wulff. Mr. Wulff felt hurt in his right to privacy. He filed a lawsuit aiming to prohibit the publication of this private photo. In first and second instance Mr. Wulff was successful; the German Federal Court now overruled the previous decisions and decided that Mr. Wulff’s right to privacy were not infringed by the publication of the photo. Continue Reading The Right to Privacy of a Former Federal President
Back in 2015 Constantin Film AG, the production company of the German movie „Fack ju Göhte“, filed an European Union trademark application (“EUTM”) for its movie title „Fack ju Göhte“ with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”). The EUTM application was refused by the EUIPO based on an alleged infringement of public policy and common decency. On top of that, EUIPO was of the opinion that the title of the movie is an offensive insult that would damage the German highly respected writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe posthumously. Constantin Film’s appeal against this decision was also not successful, so that they now brought that case before the General Court of the European Union. Continue Reading The General Court of the European Union Rules on the Immorality of the Movie Title „Fack ju Göhte“
On 1 March 2018, new arbitration rules of the German Institution of Arbitration (“Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit“, “DIS”) will come into force. The revised DIS Rules are designed to suit the needs of both domestic and international parties. They also aim to enhance the efficiency of arbitration, providing proceedings that are non-bureaucratic, flexible and open to party autonomy.
IP arbitration is a growing trend. Parties to a licensing agreement, to a technology transfer agreement or even competitors fighting over the amount of FRAND royalties for a Standard Essential Patent may wish to refer their dispute to arbitration to keep the dispute confidential and to have IP experts solve the matter as arbitrators. The DIS arbitration rules are not specific to any sector or type of dispute and are also suitable for IP disputes.
View the key amendments to the DIS arbitration rules in the following article by our Arbitration experts Dr. Mark C. Hilgard, Dr. Jan Kraayvanger, Armineh Gharibian, Dr. Nadine Pieper und Ana Bruder:
Now that the time of the year has come, it seems like everything is all about finding the perfect gift, decorating your house in the most beautiful Christmas colors, baking Christmas cookies and of course, going to Christmas markets. But even while we are enjoying the peaceful and contemplative atmosphere – and obviously to drink one or the other mulled wines we are not spared from being confronted with the German trademark law. Insofar we would like to conclude this year with a decision of the German Patent Court which dates back to 2006, but which perfectly fits into the advent and Christmas season. Continue Reading We Wish You a Happy Christmas! Enjoy your time at the Christkindlesmarkt!
On 21 November 2017, the German Federal Patent Court decided about a license fee for the HIV-Drug Isentress for which it has granted a compulsory license in 2016. Continue Reading German Federal Patent Court Determines License Fee for a Compulsory License under HIV Drug Patent
According to reports published on 11 June 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court has requested the Federal President of Germany to refrain from signing the law that is necessary to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC). The president has agreed to comply with this request. The president’s signing is the last step required for a law to come into force after it has already passed both legislative chambers in Germany. Continue Reading UPC: German Ratification Postponed Due to a Request by the German Federal Constitutional Court