Latest updates

Supreme Court strengthens impression that arbitral awards usually stand despite tribunal's procedural errors
Wistrand
  • Litigation
  • Sweden
  • 19 November 2019

Recent case law confirms that the Swedish courts uphold the general principle that awards finalise a dispute between parties. In order to successfully challenge an award, the challenging party must prove not only that the procedural error likely affected the outcome of the award, but also that the error is of essential importance.

Proposed modernisation of Swedish labour law
Wistrand
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Sweden
  • 13 November 2019

The government recently decided to appoint a special investigator to explore the possibilities of modernising some of the basic regulations of Swedish labour law. The investigation aims to explore how Swedish labour law can be modernised and adapted to meet current market needs while maintaining the fundamental and historical balance between the various parties to the labour market.

Politics, environmental policies and permit decisions
Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Sweden
  • 11 November 2019

The legislature has decided that official decisions which could have a major impact on future environmental conduct should be made at the political level rather than through a judicial review. Although there are benefits to politicians being accountable for decisions regarding businesses that have a significant environmental impact, it remains to be seen whether the legal uncertainty in this regard will inhibit the willingness of companies to expand into Sweden.

Blocking injunctions – proportionality and right of access to information
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 04 November 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently ordered several internet service providers to take blocking measures against Sci-Hub and LibGen. The case is interesting in light of the court's 2019 decision in a similar case on interim blocking measures in which it denied blocking injunctions due to a lack of proportionality and issued stern words about the evidence invoked by the claimant and the risk of overblocking legitimate content.

Heavily discounted starter pack considered unethical grant to healthcare
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 30 October 2019

The Committee for the Review of Pharmaceutical Information recently confirmed the strict approach to the marketing of medicinal products in relation to pricing. The committee's findings serve as a reminder that companies should consider not only the intended purpose of offering a discount on a product, but also its actual effects. The case under review illustrates that an intended discount on a product may be considered contrary to the Ethical Rules for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Cannabis causes confusion in Sweden
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 14 August 2019

The Supreme Court has ruled that cannabidiol (CBD) oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which originates from legally cultivated hemp constitute illegal narcotics. The court argued that since CBD oil can be defined as a preparation in accordance with the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and contains THC, it is an illegal substance. This decision is likely to affect several aspects of Swedish healthcare regulation, including that relating to medicinal products.

Authorisation requirements for third-country insurers: implications of a hard Brexit
Mannheimer Swartling
  • Insurance
  • Sweden
  • 16 July 2019

In the event of a hard Brexit, UK insurers must obtain authorisation as third-country insurers in Sweden in order to offer their products to the Swedish market. Notably, insurers that are uncertain of whether the business which they intend to conduct constitutes insurance business in Sweden and is thus subject to authorisation can apply for a preliminary ruling from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority on the issue.

Liability for damages due to export of toxic waste: final ruling
Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Sweden
  • 15 July 2019

In a long and extensive environmental liability suit in Sweden, approximately 800 Chileans sued a Swedish mining company. The claim was based on the grounds that the mining company had exported toxic waste to Chile which subsequently caused damage to the plaintiffs' health. The case regards a potentially tortious act which occurred more than 30 years ago and poses the question of whether a company can be liable for environmental damage disclosed long after the tortious act has taken place.

Conditions and consequences of CEO employment termination
Wistrand
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Sweden
  • 10 July 2019

Company leaders such as CEOs are expressly excluded from the scope of the Employment Protection Act. Therefore, the parties to a CEO's employment agreement must agree its terms. However, the reasonability and validity of the agreed terms and conditions may be assessed or determined by the Swedish courts. Given the lack of applicable law in this area, the parties to a CEO's employment agreement must agree on the terms relating to both active employment and termination (by either party).

One small step for alcoholic beverage marketers, one giant leap for wine critics
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Product Regulation & Liability
  • Sweden
  • 06 June 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently assessed the use of quotations from wine reviews in ads and found the terms 'bargain' and 'recommended' and the phrase 'an excellent alternative for the big party' acceptable under the applicable Swedish and EU law. This ruling marks a small but significant shift in the strict Swedish jurisprudence on the subject and may give market actors a reason to pop a celebratory bottle.

Watch out! Patent and Market Court of Appeal finds watch protected by copyright
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 27 May 2019

For the first time, the Patent and Market Court of Appeal has confirmed that a watch can be protected by copyright as a work of applied art, even in a crowded design field. The decision enables rights holders to not only pursue counterfeits on the basis of trademark infringement, but also to prosecute copycat watch models on the basis of copyright protection in physical and digital environments.

Arbitral award set aside for violation of due process
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Sweden
  • 23 May 2019

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that Section 34(7) of the Arbitration Act – under which an arbitral award must be set aside if an irregularity occurred in the course of the proceedings and probably influenced the case's outcome – should be applied restrictively. This decision is a rare example of a Swedish court setting aside an award based on procedural irregularities under Section 34(7).

It's complicated: principles for clarifying uncertain employer-employee relationships
Wistrand
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Sweden
  • 01 May 2019

The Labour Court recently issued two decisions which further outline the principles for determining the 'real' employer when an employer-employee relationship is unclear. The decisions confirm that the court still places a strong emphasis on protecting employees' rights. Thus, in the interests of full transparency, employers must fulfil their obligations by ensuring that employees have full knowledge of any agreement between their employer and another company that performs employment-related functions.

New guidance on classification of insurance‑based investment products
Mannheimer Swartling
  • Insurance
  • Sweden
  • 30 April 2019

The Council for Advance Tax Rulings has further clarified the demarcation between insurance products and other investment products under Swedish law. The council found that a unit-linked insurance plan under which the beneficiary was entitled to 99% of the invested capital on realisation of the insured risk and the policyholder received no risk compensation during the insurance period did not constitute an insurance product under Swedish law.

Arbitral award challenge based on Achmea unsuccessful
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Sweden
  • 14 March 2019

The Svea Court of Appeal has largely upheld two arbitral awards which Poland had challenged on the ground that the arbitration provision in the investment treaty between Poland, Luxembourg and Belgium was incompatible with EU law according to Achmea. However, the court granted leave to appeal to the Swedish Supreme Court, as it deemed the case to include issues of importance for the guidance of the application of law.

Preliminary injunction denied in Swedish darunavir SPC proceedings
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 11 March 2019

The Patent and Market Court of Appeal recently handed down a preliminary injunction ruling in Sandoz v GD Searle LLC relating to the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for darunavir. The ruling clarifies that SPCs enjoy a validity presumption for the purpose of a preliminary injunction ruling in the same way that patents do. However, in the instant proceedings, the court found that Sandoz, against which the lower court had issued a preliminary injunction, had managed to rebut the presumption.

Trilogue negotiations: originator company compensation for parallel imported products
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Sweden
  • 27 February 2019

The Stockholm Administrative Court recently ruled that under the so-called 'trilogue negotiations' between pharmaceutical companies, the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency and the Swedish regions could require an originator company to compensate them for products marketed by parallel importers.

Does lack of impartiality justify a reduction in arbitrators' compensation?
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Sweden
  • 14 February 2019

Although parties have the right to appeal arbitrators' compensation that has been decided by an arbitral institution and included in an arbitral award, a recent Svea Court of Appeal judgment suggests that strong reasons are required to adjust such a decision when it has been made in accordance with an arbitration agreement between said parties. Further, the existence of circumstances which could diminish confidence in an arbitrator's impartiality is insufficient to justify a reduction in compensation.

Labour Court clarifies freedoms of religion and conscience in healthcare sector
Wistrand
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Sweden
  • 13 February 2019

Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world with full freedom of religion. Further, freedom of conscience is a right protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. However, domestic law recognises no right to conscientious objection. A recent Labour Court decision has clarified from an employment law perspective whether freedom of conscience gives healthcare professionals a right to conscientious objection.

Calculating copyright infringement damages using hypothetical licence fees
Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Intellectual Property
  • Sweden
  • 11 February 2019

The Supreme Court recently rejected the application of a hypothetical licence fee to calculate reasonable compensation for massive copyright infringement through the operation of an illegal streaming site. This decision raises several interesting questions, including to what extent an infringer's illegal business model should be taken into account when calculating reasonable compensation.