Search terms: Roschier
Including: Electronic Contracts; Advertising; Electronic Signatures; Domain Names; Web Site Liability; Evidence
The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority is to improve its '.fi' domain name service by introducing a one-year validity period for domain names. Once the change enters into force, it will be possible to apply for, renew or transfer a '.fi' domain name to another holder for a period of one or three years.
In a pivotal case the Turku Court of Appeal held that an Åland Islands lottery association which marketed its products to consumers in mainland Finland was not 'organizing a lottery' in Finland within the meaning of the Lottery Act. The location of the association's internet server and management on the islands, which are an autonomous region of Finland, proved decisive.
On February 1 2003 two new e-commerce related acts entered into force. Under one act, advanced electronic signatures which are based on a qualified certificate and created by a secure creation device now have the same legal validity as handwritten signatures. The second act clarifies the requirements for electronic communications conducted by administrative authorities.
The Domain Names Act creates a more flexible domain name registration system. The most important change under the new act is that '.fi' top-level domain names will be issued on a first come, first served basis, and applicants will no longer be required to have a registered right to the name. The act also provides for the revocation and disconnection of domain names.
The Nordic consumer ombudsmen recently agreed a position statement relating to electronic transactions. The statement supplements national legislation and covers issues including marketing methods, the gathering of personal data and guidelines for establishing the target country of marketing.
A statutory system of regulation for Finnish domain names was proposed recently. It will alter the existing registration procedures and remove the pre-examination requirement. The bill also contains procedures for dispute resolution, and for revocation and disconnection of a domain name. However, the bill has attracted criticism.
Amendments to the Finnish Penal Code have enhanced the protection of business secrets. Employees must now keep an employer's business secrets confidential for two years after termination of employment and not just during employment. However, employers remain advised to include confidentiality clauses in employment contracts for the post-employment period.
A working group set up by the Ministry of Labour has proposed amendments to the Act on the Protection of Privacy in the Workplace. According to the proposal, provisions concerning the use of drugs, camera surveillance and the protection of employees' emails will be added to the act. The amendments will increase employee privacy.
The Finnish government recently proposed to expand the right to partial childcare leave provided by the Employment Contracts Act. Under the proposal, an employee may take partial childcare leave until his or her child finishes his or her second year at comprehensive school. The purpose of the bill is to enable the parents of small children to balance work and family life.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the validity of a non-competition clause in the employment contracts of two real estate brokers, which prohibited the brokers from dealing with individuals who were clients of their former employer for at least six months after termination of their employment. The court's decision was based on the specific nature of the real estate market.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that where an employee has commenced proceedings for damages on the grounds of wrongful dismissal, a prior agreement entered into by the respective unions of the employer and employee regarding lawful termination of employment will not be binding on that employee at trial.
The Supreme Court recently held that the dismissal of a managing director was not a breach of contract. The managing director had only a verbal agreement with the board of the directors, which did not include terms and conditions. The court stated that this did not amount to a contract governing termination of service and notice period.
The Data Protection Board has issued a new decision in the matter involving the publication Veropörssi, following demands made by the data protection ombudsman. It ordered the companies Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy to stop the processing and publishing of tax data collected from the tax authorities.
The Ministry of Justice has published a memorandum discussing the expediency of holding an unauthorized user of an unprotected wireless local area network criminally liable for such use. According to the memorandum, there are many problems regarding such criminalization. The memorandum is being circulated for comments in order to help the ministry to decide whether legal amendments will be necessary.
The new Act on Electronic Identification and Electronic Signatures has entered into force. The act provides rules on electronic identification services and the use of electronic signatures. Compliance with the new act is to be monitored by the Communications Regulatory Authority, whose main task is to ensure that service providers provide qualified certificates that comply with the act's requirements.
The IT2000 General Terms and Conditions for IT procurement are planned to be updated in early 2010. The draft updated terms have been published and they are currently in circulation for comments. The drafts are available online and anyone wishing to submit comments on the drafts must do so by September 4 2009.
The Turku Court of Appeal has confirmed a Salo District Court ruling in a matter where an IT professional had repeatedly exploited the unprotected wireless local area network (WLAN) connection of a neighbour without consent. Both courts held that intentional unauthorized use of a neighbour's WLAN connection constitutes petty unauthorized use under Chapter 28, Section 9 of the Penal Code.
Parliament has passed Bill 48/2008 on amendments to the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications and other related legislation. The amendment adds to and clarifies the rules on data security and grants corporate subscribers certain rights to intervene in cases where data has been misused, including the right to analyze identification data in order to investigate disclosure of important business secrets.
Including: Patents and Legislation; Trademarks; Copyright; Database Protection; Design Rights; Utility Models; Transferability of Rights; Competent Courts for Disputes; Customs Actions; Other Statutes and Forms of Protection
The Finnish Competition Authority has successfully accused the Copyright Society of Performing Artists and Phonogram Producers of Finland of abusing its dominant market position when collecting compensation from radio stations on behalf of performing artists. The Market Court ordered the society to use a precalculated general tariff for all stations.
Finland has failed to harmonize its laws in line with the EU Digital Copyright Directive within the specified period. A bill that was intended to implement the directive encountered strong public opposition and, due to impending parliamentary elections, was allowed to lapse. The onus is now on the recently elected coalition government to propose a new bill.
The National Board of Patents and Registration has decided to apply European Patent Office guidelines with regard to the patenting of computer-implemented inventions, as a directive on the matter has been delayed in the EU legislative process. The key reason for the new praxis is to avoid the inconsistent and unfair application of different rules on patent applicants.
The Supreme Court recently held that an action for ordering the destruction of counterfeit goods could proceed against the forwarding agent, regardless of the fact that the agent had not been found liable for trademark infringement. Despite this, the agent was not placed in the position of a defendant to the proceedings.
A government bill implementing the EU Copyright Directive was recently submitted to Parliament. It suggests the clarification of certain key concepts of copyright law, while favouring the introduction of the EU-wide exhaustion of distribution rights and the imposition of levies on equipment used for the reproduction of works for private use.
The amended Design Right Act alters important design right concepts. It includes definitions of key terms for the first time and extends protection to products with multiple components. Additional changes include provisions on public disclosure, limitations on the scope of the design right and changes to the registration procedure.
The Supreme Court has supported the Finnish Procedural Code by ruling in a recent case that counsel will be held liable for the costs of the other side only in exceptional circumstances. It ruled that everyone should have the right to the same level of legal protection, including the right to appeal, regardless of financial status.
A number of changes to the appeals system and procedure in the Finnish courts of appeal will soon enter into force. The new system is geared towards reducing the amount of work in the courts of appeal and shortening appeal times. The changes introduce a screening procedure, under which only appeals that are likely to be successful will be subject to the full appeal procedure.
The Code of Civil Procedure has been amended to increase its flexibility and expedite judicial procedure. A preparatory hearing or main hearing may now be dispensed with, depending on the circumstances of the case. In addition, the court is now required to provide the parties with information regarding the progress of the proceedings and issue a summary of the case.
The Finnish Supreme Court recently held that a seizure of documents containing confidential client information regarding an attorney's assignment was contrary to law. The documents contained no information pertaining to the criminal investigation concerning the attorney, and should have been returned or destroyed once this was realized.
A committee has been established to develop a new system for settling disputes in district courts. The new system is expected to be informal, involve experienced judges and be conducted separately from legal proceedings. It will aim to reduce litigation by making out-of-court settlements a more acceptable option.
Despite efforts to introduce it, the class action procedure is still not recognized in Finland. Objections centre on the detrimental effects it may have on the competitiveness of Finnish corporations and the ethical standards of lawyers. However, the introduction of a legislative proposal on class actions may well spark further debate on the matter.
The working group on the reform of the Lotteries Act set up by the Ministry of the Interior has issued its final report. Among other things, the report proposes that the current formal licence system should be changed to an exclusive system and that a new authority, the Central Bureau of the Finnish Police, be established. The new Lotteries Act is intended to enter into force on January 1 2012.
The Finnish News Agency has filed a complaint to the European Commission requesting that the commission examine whether the Finnish Broadcasting Company is infringing state aid regulations by displaying its own free-of-charge news service alongside paid advertisements on billboards in shopping centres in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
The European Court of Justice has rendered a preliminary ruling on the protection of personal tax data and the freedom of the press. It held that if personal data is contained in documents in the public domain and is processed with the sole object of disclosing information, opinions or ideas to the public, such processing is to be considered "solely for journalistic purposes".
The Council of Ethical Advertising recently issued a statement allowing the Finnish mobile phone and internet service provider DNA to use an advertisement featuring an older man - dressed as a boy scout - in the company of women dressed as girl scouts. The council had been asked to rule on the advertisement in response to claims that it included references to paedophilia.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that an ice-fishing competition was to be considered a lottery in accordance with the Lotteries Act. The main issue at stake was whether the winning of a prize in the competition was completely or partially based on chance, as Section 2 of the act requires from a lottery.
Government Bill 32/2008 concerning implementation of the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was passed by the Finnish government in June. The implementation required amendments mainly to Chapter 2 of the Consumer Protection Act concerning marketing to consumers. The revised provisions entered into force on October 1 2008.
Including: Market Composition; Legal Framework; Regulatory Authorities; Enforcement; The Telecommunications Market Act; The Radio Act; Operator Obligations; Interconnection Framework; Consumer Protection; General Service Obligation
The Ministry of Transport and Communications recently threatened to intervene in the pricing of mobile phone calls which originate and terminate within a single network. The ministry claims that the low prices charged for these calls distort competition in the market. It hopes that operators will change their pricing policies voluntarily so that legislative amendments are not required.
Finland's newly enacted Radio Act came into force on January 1 2002. Pursuant to the new act Finland's Council of State confirmed the spectrum plan for licensed telecommunications activities, such as the provision of public mobile network infrastructure.
Parliament is considering a bill that, if accepted, will impose national roaming obligations on certain Global System for Mobile Communications network operators, as well as lease and co-location obligations on fixed-network operators.
The Competition Authority has found that Elisa Corporation's discounted tariff for local internet calls was an abuse of a dominant position, even though its competitors improved their position in the market. The reasoning: they were not given enough notice of the price change.