Latest updates

Difference in severance for employees under service agreements and permanent employees is not discriminatory
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 14 August 2019

In a preliminary ruling in a case referred to it by the Galicia High Court, the European Court of Justice has confirmed the existence of objective grounds which justify a difference in compensation paid on the termination of works contracts linked to a specific service (ie, 12 days' salary) and the termination of permanent contracts (ie, 20 days' salary). The Galician court must now decide whether the early termination of a service agreement falls under Article 52 of the Workers' Statute.

Supreme Court rules on scope of mortgage liability
Pérez-Llorca
  • Litigation
  • Spain
  • 06 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that mortgage liability for interest claimed from third parties is limited to five years in accordance with the Mortgage Act. According to the court, this maximum mortgage coverage applies to all legal effects – regardless of whether these are favourable or adverse – and to agreements between mortgagees and mortgagors and between mortgagors and third-party acquirers.

Offering goods or services online may be decisive in determining territorial jurisdiction
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 05 August 2019

Grifols, SA filed a lawsuit before the Barcelona courts against Algoritmos Procesos y Diseños, SA (APD) for infringement of a patent which protected a blister pack handling machine. Once the lawsuit was admitted, APD filed a declinatory plea due to lack of territorial jurisdiction. However, the court rejected APD's plea and pointed out that this was a case of forum choosing (rather than forum shopping) which illustrates the importance of patent owners' right to choose.

Is video surveillance valid evidence to justify dismissal on disciplinary grounds?
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 31 July 2019

The Pamplona Labour Court recently ruled in a case concerning an employee who had been dismissed on disciplinary grounds for his involvement in a fight with a colleague, which had been captured on the CCTV installed in the workplace car park. Notably, the CCTV evidence was admissible under the Data Protection Act. However, as the act does not align with European Court of Human Rights case law and the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the court refused to accept the footage as evidence.

Criminal sentences handed down for sale of IP infringing souvenirs
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 29 July 2019

Valencia Criminal Court Number 15 recently convicted the managers of a company operating in the souvenir industry for a crime against IP rights in accordance with the Criminal Code. In its decision, the court rejected the defendants' allegations of defencelessness, deeming that both the objective and subjective elements of Article 273 of the Criminal Code had been met based on the expert report and the raid conducted against the defendants in 2009.

Supreme Court recognises Modelo's right to register and use CONTINENTE mark
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 22 July 2019

The Supreme Court recently declared a Madrid Court of Appeal judgment to be final, confirming the cancellation of Carrefour's CONTINENTE trademarks and recognising Modelo's right to register and use its CONTINENTE mark in Spain. The decision supports the previous case law criterion that protection cannot be sought for trademarks which are no longer used on the market.

Effectiveness of protective briefs in pharmaceutical patent matters
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 15 July 2019

In order to better understand the usefulness of protective briefs, this article examines some recent cases that show that protective briefs can, in certain cases, reduce or even eliminate the risk of an ex parte preliminary injunction and the inconveniences associated therewith.

Exception to exhaustion of trademark rights principle enforceable for non-luxury marks
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 01 July 2019

The Barcelona Court of Appeal recently revoked a judgment which had dismissed all of the claims filed by the owner and licensee of the MUSTELA trademark against its former distributor and various other companies. Notably, the court stated that EU doctrine and Spanish case law provide for an exception to the exhaustion of trademark rights principle with regard to luxury trademarks. However, this does not rule out the application of this exception to other trademarks in particular selective distribution cases.

Important changes to Copyright Act
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 24 June 2019

In March 2019 the Copyright Act was amended to bring Spanish copyright law into line with that of the European Union. In addition, the reform has reinforced the rights of authors and publishers, introduced new regulations on the functioning of collecting societies in order to increase the transparency and control of their operations in favour of authors and strengthened the regulations on combating piracy.

Daily recording of working hours: FAQs
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 29 May 2019

Following the entry into force of Royal Decree 8/2019, companies are now required to record employees' working hours on a daily basis. This article addresses a number of key questions regarding this new obligation, including with regard to its scope, overtime, the recording system or method to be used and the applicable penalties.

New regulations aim to improve gender equality
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 22 May 2019

The Royal Decree-Law on Urgent Measures to Guarantee Equal Treatment and Opportunities for Women and Men in Employment and Occupation recently came into force, amending the Workers Statute and the Equality Law. The decree-law, which applies to companies established in Spain, aims to improve gender equality between women and men, reinforce equal pay and enable parents to share childcare responsibilities.

New law protects tenants during eviction procedures
Pérez-Llorca
  • Litigation
  • Spain
  • 14 May 2019

The Law on Urgent Measures Relating to Housing and Rental Matters recently entered into force, providing greater protection to tenants. The law has primarily amended the Civil Procedure Act, specifying that matters relating to leases where the claim can be quantified will be excluded from the scope of ordinary proceedings, and that summary proceedings can be initiated for certain amounts in accordance with the corresponding procedural rules.

Supreme Court ends pharmaceutical companies' battle over TRIPS Agreement
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 13 May 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected the extraordinary appeals filed by Pfizer against a Barcelona Court of Appeal judgment, confirming the dismissal of a patent infringement action against sildenafil generics competitors in Spain. This decision represents the end of a long battle regarding the interpretation of Articles 27 and 70 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and their alleged impact on the prohibition on patent chemical and pharmaceutical products as such.

Criminal sentence for importers of shoes which infringed adidas trademarks and designs
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 29 April 2019

The Valencia Court of Appeal, acting as a trial court, recently sentenced two defendants to one-and-a-half years in prison for importing thousands of pairs of counterfeit shoes for commercial purposes. The court also ordered the defendants to pay a fine, procedural costs and damages and destruction costs. This is one of the first judgments to be issued by an appeal court acting as a trial court in an IP criminal case.

Does time spent travelling to clients constitute working time?
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 27 March 2019

A trade union recently filed a claim with the Castile and Leon High Court on behalf of 6,000 in-home carers, asking the court to declare that the time which the carers spent travelling between their home and their first and last clients of the day must be deemed working time in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement. This is a controversial matter on which the Spanish labour courts have reached various conclusions.

Barcelona Court of Appeal confirms validity and infringement of Nescafé Dolce Gusto patents
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 25 March 2019

The Barcelona Court of Appeal recently confirmed the Barcelona Commercial Court Number 5 decision which had declared two Nestlé patents to be valid and infringed by Fast Eurocafé SA. Considering the importance of the Nescafé Dolce Gusto system for Nestlé and the increased interest among competitors in commercialising compatible capsules, this judgment is of paramount importance.

Ignore the collective dismissal regulations… at your peril!
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 20 February 2019

The Supreme Court recently concluded that the implementation of individual redundancies which collectively exceed the applicable statutory thresholds should be carried out in accordance with the legal procedure for collective dismissals, even if agreements have been reached with employee representatives. This case was particularly complex due to the fact that the employment terminations had not been de facto implemented through a redundancy.

Barcelona patent court finds oxycodone and naloxone patent invalid due to added matter
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 11 February 2019

Barcelona Commercial Court Number 4 recently dismissed a patent infringement action brought by Mundipharma against two generics of its oxycodone and naloxone medicinal product for the treatment of pain (Targin) and upheld the defendants' counterclaim that the asserted patent was invalid. Among other things, the court held that the patent's claims amounted to an inadmissible generalisation because they omitted essential elements of the invention as disclosed in the application as filed.

New digital rights: employees' right to privacy in use of video, audio and geolocation surveillance
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • 06 February 2019

The new Data Protection Act has introduced a number of so-called 'digital rights' for employees. Prior to the act's entry into force, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court had already issued regulations on how employers could monitor employees using video, audio or geolocation surveillance, which were in line with European Court of Human Rights rulings. Although the new act has made no special amendments to the courts' regulations, it has provided a concrete legal framework in this regard.

Criminal sentence for possession of handbags which infringe Robin Ruth Group design
Grau & Angulo
  • Intellectual Property
  • Spain
  • 04 February 2019

The Arenys de Mar Trial Court Number 1 recently convicted the defendant in a case involving handbags which infringed a Robin Ruth Group (RRG) design for a crime against intellectual property. Notably, in May 2013 the defendant had signed a settlement agreement with the RRG following the seizure of hundreds of products which infringed other RRG designs in which it had undertaken not to infringe in future either those designs or any other designs owned by the RRG.