Regional Labour Court Cologne: Return of the office key after termination of an employment

An employee who had received an office key in context with his employment is obliged to return this key upon request of the employer or after termination of the employment. In general, the keys have to be handed over at the place of the office. This obligation has been confirmed by the Regional Labour Court Cologne in its decision of 10 August 2017 (LAG Köln, 7 Sa 1073/16).

In the dispute at hand, an employee of a law firm had been provided with office keys in order to facilitate her work performance. In the beginning of 2016, the relationship between her and her employer worsened considerably. Due to the bad relationship, the employer asked her to return the office keys and two weeks later served her with the termination notice. In order to obtain the office keys, the employer even visited the employee at her private address. The employee, however, rejected to hand-over the keys due to the fact that the employment had not been terminated at that time. Additionally, she claimed, the key was already at her lawyer’s office and above that, she could not be forced to communicate with her employer at that time because their relationship had already turned unbearable. After termination, the employee sent the office keys via registered mail. The letter, however, arrived at the employer damaged and was lacking the keys. They were found by the post only four weeks later and thus it was delivered to the employer with delay. Consequently, the employer filed a lawsuit demanding damages for the exchange of the main door lock as well as the envisaged exchange of the locking system for the whole building. (Read more…)


Germany: Bundesgerichtshof – Use of third-party trade marks in Amazon – autocomplete function and hit list

Everyone knows this and has probably been annoyed by it on one or the other occasion: You enter a word, maybe even just a few letters of a word into a search engine on the internet, e.g. the Amazon search engine. A list of potential words and trade marks to search for is displayed. You are pleased, if in fact the brand you want to search for is among them and you click on this term from the list. A certain disappointment is inevitable if a long hit list is displayed, but no product of the desired brand appears in it, but only competitors’ products. This raises the following questions:

May Amazon, in its autocomplete function, name brands that neither Amazon itself nor third parties sell via the Amazon platform? Does a hit list have to contain a clarification at the beginning if only competitors’ products are displayed instead of the searched brand products? When entering or selecting a particular brand on internet platforms such as Amazon, does the internet user expect to be offered only products of that brand?

(Read more)


Germany: Amendments to the Warranty Law as of 1.1.2018

Up to now, a consumer who has installed a defective item into another item, such as a house, has not only been entitled to claim from the seller the

 delivery of a new and defect-free item, but also for assumption of the costs for removing the defective item and installing the new defect-free item. However, the seller was only able to pass on the installation and dismantling costs he incurred as a result of the supplementary performance to his supplier if the supply was at fault. If the supplier was not at the same time the manufacturer of the item, fault on his side was usually denied.

The same applied in cases where a craftsman was obliged to make subsequent performance at his customer’s premises due to defects in the material he used. He, too, was only entitled to claim reimbursement of the installation and dismantling costs incurred by him as a result of subsequent performance from the supplier of his material if the supplier was at fault.

The law of 28 April 2017, made changes to the law on defects under commercial law, which affect not only consumers but also entrepreneurs and suppliers within the supply chain. The corresponding amendments to the German Civil Code came into force on 1 January 2018.


Now the supplier must carry out the removal and installation or bear the costs connected with it in the context of his legal obligation to remedy defects not only in B2C relationships, but also in B2B relationships. (Read more)


GER: Labelling of advertising by influencers in social media


Paid posts by influencers in social media, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. must be labelled as advertising, otherwise not only the influencer but also the advertising company can be hold liable for concealing the commercial purpose of the post (surreptitious advertising). This can lead to claims for restraining the influencer and/or the advertising company from publishing the post as was done, possible damage claims and also to the imposition of fines.

(Read more…)


GER: Admissibility of a statement of claim in Polish language


By a court decision of 15.03.2017, file no. 4 K 18/17, the 4th Senate of the financial court Hamburg (Finanzgericht Hamburg) decided that if the court, out of its own motion, caused a translation of a statement of claim, drafted in Polish language and filed in time, the statement of claim is deemed filed within the deadline.
(Read more…)

Newsletter Data Protection

Germany: Amendments to the Federal Data Protection Act

On 25 May 2018, various changes in the processing of personal data come into force in Germany. The amendments are based on the entry into force of the Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Adjustment Act.

Therefore, companies should review their processes regarding the processing of personal data and, if necessary, adapt them to the new legal requirements.


In principle, data protection is applicable to the collecting and processing of personal data from consumers. Accordingly, the amendment to the Federal Data Protection Act will have an effect in particular in e-commerce.

(Read more…)


Spain: Data Protection Regulation


On May 25th 2016, REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION) entered into force.

Although European Regulations are directly enforceable in the member states, without any adaptation into national law), Spanish Government has decided to derogate Spanish current Act 15/1999 on Personal Data Protection and to submit a new Constitutional Act on Personal Data Protection which shall replace the one published in December 1999 and implements the modifications introduced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

So far, the Spanish Government instructed the Spanish National Codification Commission to prepare a new text of the Act, in collaboration with the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD in the Spanish acronym) which is the public law authority overseeing compliance with the legal provisions on the protection of personal data.

The text was recently forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, which presented it to the Council of Ministers on 24 June 2017. The preliminary draft is currently subject to consultations, opinions and reports, including consultation with citizens and entities concerned, as well as the opinion of the Council of State. The new Act shall enter into force at the same time as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, i.e. in May 2018.

Considering the above, we cannot give you an overview on the final regulations in the new Spanish Personal Data Protection Act, but the text submitted for approval currently contains the following regulations:

(Read more…)


Russia: The law introducing significant strengthening of liability for the violation of personal data regulations came into force

On July 1st, 2017, several amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (hereafter – the Code) came into force[1], significantly elaborating on the list of offences in the sphere of personal data (PD) processing and increasing the penalties.

The amendments addressed Article 13.11 of the Code, which previously established liability for one major offence related to the data processing – the breach of legally prescribed procedure of gathering, storing, using and distribution of PD. The sanction stretched from an official warning to administrative fine limited to 10 000 RUB for companies.

The amended Article 13.11 diversifies and strengthens the liability, introducing seven general groups of offences related to PD, which themselves may have internal division between various administrative offences.

Five of seven Paragraphs of Article 13.11 require the special perpetrator – the operator of PD. According to the Federal Law No. 152-FZ of 27.07.2006 “On Personal Data”, the operator includes governmental body, municipal body, a company or a physical person, who, acting on their own, or jointly with other persons, organize and (or) directly perform the PD processing, as well as those who determine the purposes of processing, the amount of PD to be processed, and specific operations involved in PD processing.

Drawing particular attention is that operator of PD is liable for non‑publishing of its policy on data protection, as well as for depriving the third parties in any other way of access to such document, which is now explicitly stipulated in law. The obligation to elaborate and publicize the policy on data protection is established in the Article 18.1 of the Federal Law on personal data.

(Read more…)