Netherlands updates

Healthcare & Life Sciences

Small boost in battle against high prices for medicinal products
  • Netherlands
  • 16 January 2019

The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate recently published its report on its investigation into the quality and permissibility of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre's (Amsterdam UMC's) pharmaceutical compounding of its cerebrotendineous xanthomatosis drug, which contains the active substance chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA). According to the inspectorate, the small-scale preparation of CDCA on prescription by Amsterdam UMC is legally allowed based on an exception under European and Dutch law.

For-profit hospital care: don't hold your breath
  • Netherlands
  • 10 October 2018

For-profit hospital care is a toxic political subject. Those in favour will achieve no political gain by fighting for it, while those opposed can easily cash in on the sentiment or conviction that healthcare is best provided if financial motives are neutralised. Nonetheless, the current administration is carefully reviving the discussion about for-profit healthcare. However, given the current political landscape, prolonging the regulatory twilight zone seems the most likely outcome.

New government measures aim to keep medicines affordable
  • Netherlands
  • 01 August 2018

The minister for medical care recently announced a set of measures to control the rising costs of pharmaceutical drugs, which – without action – are forecast to rise by at least 10% annually. The measures aim to guarantee patient accessibility to medicines and the affordability of care in the long term. The minister estimates that the measures will save the country €467 million per year by 2022.

Electronic exchange of patient data: consent in view of Supreme Court decision, GDPR and future regulations
  • Netherlands
  • 20 June 2018

In 2011 the Senate rejected the legislative proposal to establish a mandatory electronic patient record. Subsequently, various national professional associations recommenced the initiative in a different (optional) form, using the already developed nationwide infrastructure for the electronic exchange of personal medical data. The Association of General Practitioners petitioned the courts to prohibit the new initiative. However, the Supreme Court recently allowed it on the basis of present legislation.

Inducement ban regarding medical devices
  • Netherlands
  • 28 March 2018

The Medical Devices Act was recently amended to include a provision that bans improper inducements aimed at stimulating the prescription or supply of medical devices on the basis of undesirable financial incentives. The aim of the amendment is to give patients more trust that healthcare professionals make decisions concerning certain devices based on legitimate grounds relating to patient care.


Intellectual Property

Contributed by AKD
Competence of district courts in summary proceedings relating to EU community designs
  • Netherlands
  • 13 January 2020

The Supreme Court recently requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the competence of district courts in summary proceedings relating to EU community designs. An immediate consequence of the ECJ's decision is that district courts other than the one in The Hague will be unable to provide provisional measures in cases relating to EU trademarks.

Court rules on inventor's failure to transfer patent
  • Netherlands
  • 21 October 2019

The Hague District Court recently rendered a judgment regarding an inventor's failure to cooperate with the exploitation of his patents. The claimant had alleged that the defendant's refusal to cooperate with the transfer of the patent to a foundation (which would have subsequently granted the claimant a licence) had prevented it from exploiting the patent, including sub-licensing it to third parties.

'Spreading' a work under Dutch copyright law: the gift that should not have been given
  • Netherlands
  • 26 August 2019

Article 12 of the Copyright Act lists a number of acts that fall within the definition of 'disclosure to the public'. In addition to the more straightforward cases of disclosure, Article 12(1)(2) specifically stipulates that disclosure also includes verbreiding (translated in English as 'spreading') all or part of a work or a reproduction thereof where the work has not yet appeared in print. Although there is little case law on the act of spreading, the subject was recently debated in an Amsterdam Court of Appeal case.

Unauthorised filing of trademarks by agent or representative
  • Netherlands
  • 24 June 2019

The District Court of Gelderland recently rendered a judgment on the subject of unauthorised agent or representative filings. It deemed that a third party was so closely involved in the distribution agreement between two other parties that it could be ordered to transfer the trademarks that it had registered unauthorised, despite the third party arguing that it could not be regarded as an agent, representative or distributor of the two other parties.

Not all alterations of architectural works result in infringements of moral rights
  • Netherlands
  • 29 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently issued a long-awaited decision on an architect's moral rights of paternity and integrity. In recent years, several Dutch judgments have considered whether architects can oppose changes to their original building designs. The Supreme Court's decision further clarifies that it is difficult for architects to do so where the changes are necessary to alter a building's function.


International Trade

Failure to observe customs rules could have costly implications
AKD
  • Netherlands
  • 12 October 2018

The Dutch customs authorities have wide-ranging inspection powers and, once irregularities have been uncovered, parties with cargo interests may face severe delays and ensuing costs which could have been avoided had they had a better understanding of the relevant rules and regulations. Parties which violate the rules will be subject to legal enforcement proceedings and possible prosecution under criminal law in the event of the Public Prosecutor's Office's involvement.


Litigation

Contributed by AKD
Competence of district courts in summary proceedings relating to EU Community designs
  • Netherlands
  • 18 February 2020

The Supreme Court recently requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the competence of district courts in summary proceedings relating to EU Community designs. An immediate consequence of the ECJ's decision is that district courts other than the one in The Hague will be unable to provide provisional measures in cases relating to EU trademarks.

New class actions act promotes efficient and effective settlement of large-scale damages cases
  • Netherlands
  • 28 January 2020

The Netherlands has always been at the forefront of the European Union in enabling collective redress for affected parties in mass damages cases. Since 1994, claims organisations have been able to pursue legal action on behalf of affected parties. However, the Civil Code prohibited claims organisations from pursuing damages claims. This practice has now changed significantly following the entry into force of the Act on the Resolution of Mass Claims in Collective Action.

Court rules on inventor's failure to transfer a patent
  • Netherlands
  • 29 October 2019

The Hague District Court recently rendered a judgment regarding an inventor's failure to cooperate with the exploitation of his patents. The claimant had alleged that the defendant's refusal to cooperate with the transfer of the patent to a foundation (which would have subsequently granted the claimant a licence) had prevented it from exploiting the patent, including sub-licensing it to third parties.

Locating pure financial damage in cross-border securities class actions: clarity on the horizon?
  • Netherlands
  • 22 October 2019

Determining a court's jurisdiction in cross-border class actions involving pure financial damage has proven difficult in practice. This is particularly true when jurisdiction is based on the special competence rules set out in the recast EU Brussels Regulation. The Dutch Shareholders Association v British Petroleum is a good example of the confusion surrounding this matter. After two lower court rulings, the Dutch Supreme Court has applied to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling to gain further clarity.

Court removes need for bailiffs to board ships to execute arrests
  • Netherlands
  • 01 October 2019

The Netherlands has long been considered one of the most favourable jurisdictions in which to arrest a ship. A recent Aruba Court ruling is set to enhance this reputation by further liberalising the procedural rules, removing the need for a bailiff to board a ship in order to execute an arrest. The decision is expected to play a role in ship arrest cases throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands where bad weather conditions, or even deliberate obstruction, may prevent bailiffs from boarding ships.


Shipping & Transport

Contributed by AKD
The Netherlands – a hotspot for provisional and conservatory measures
  • Netherlands
  • 04 December 2019

Ports in the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp region are historically known as ship arrest paradises. However, there are developments in connection with conservatory measures which are less well known and that have not been extensively reported on. These developments concern securing evidence following a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2013, which has served as a starting point for several cases.

Flying the Dutch flag: opportunities for shipowners
  • Netherlands
  • 23 October 2019

Flying the Dutch flag has unfortunately become less popular with shipowners over the past 10 years. Although the exact reasons for this fall in popularity are unknown, the presumption that flying the Dutch flag is limited by the location of the vessel's owner may be a contributing factor. However, although on the face of it only European shipowners appear to be able to obtain a nationality certificate, the scope for flying the Dutch flag is actually much wider.

Court removes need for bailiffs to board ships to execute arrests
  • Netherlands
  • 25 September 2019

The Netherlands has long been considered one of the most favourable jurisdictions in which to arrest a ship. A recent Aruba Court ruling is set to enhance this reputation by further liberalising the procedural rules, removing the need for a bailiff to board a ship in order to execute an arrest. The decision is expected to play a role in ship arrest cases throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands where bad weather conditions, or even deliberate obstruction, may prevent bailiffs from boarding ships.

Understanding legal position of digital logistics platforms
  • Netherlands
  • 22 May 2019

Digital platforms which connect logistics service providers with their customers have become commonplace. A relevant question from a legal perspective is whether such a platform acts as a carrier or freight forwarder. The answer to this question will affect a platform's civil and public law exposure. As such, platforms should consider their legal position carefully.

Volume guarantees under transport and logistics contracts
  • Netherlands
  • 27 March 2019

A recent Utrecht District Court decision sends a strong reminder to parties in the transport and logistics industry that they must be precise and clear about what they are agreeing to in dealings with their trading partners. While the less formal requirements for concluding an agreement under Dutch law seem to benefit the transport industry, this decision shows that there are pitfalls to be considered.