Denmark updates

Company & Commercial

Court rejects call for preliminary injunction based on alleged breach of distribution deal
  • Denmark
  • March 07 2016

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently rejected a preliminary action for the alleged breach of an exclusive distribution agreement. This is the first case of its kind to establish that contractual disputes cannot invoke a right to render a preliminary injunction. The case also highlights the need to demonstrate that the plaintiff has a right on which to base an injunction, which can be difficult to illustrate for non-distinctive products.


Employment & Benefits

Ministry of Employment liable for replacement holiday damages
  • Denmark
  • March 08 2017

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court considered whether the Ministry of Employment was liable for damages regarding replacement holiday. The court found that the Danish authorities had set aside EU law and were liable for damages. However, as the employee's holiday had taken place in 2010 – before the Holiday Act should have been amended – the employee was not entitled to compensation.

Revisions tabled in 2016/2017 legislative programme
  • Denmark
  • December 14 2016

The government recently presented its legislative programme for the parliamentary year 2016/2017. The programme contains a number of upcoming proposals for amendments within the area of employment and labour law, including proposed amendments to the Holiday Act, the Childbirth Act, the Public Servants Act, the Working Environment Act and the Vocational Training Act.

Relocation and dismissal of disabled employee in flexible job not contrary to Anti-discrimination Act
  • Denmark
  • September 21 2016

A recent Board of Equal Treatment case involved a municipality's alleged discrimination against a disabled employee who was relocated to another flexible job with a reduced salary and later dismissed on the grounds of improving efficiency. The board found that the employee had accepted employment in a new flexible role and that the salary reduction was not an expression of discrimination, but rather a question of applying new rules for flexible jobs.

Senior employee entitled to bonus
  • Denmark
  • July 20 2016

The Maritime and Commercial Court considered whether a senior employee's claim for a bonus payment under a bonus plan constituted 'salary' as defined in Section 17a of the Salaried Employees Act. The court attached significance to the contents of the bonus plan, the purpose of Section 17a and the wish to counter the risk of circumvention. Consequently, the senior employee was entitled to a direct proportional share of the agreed bonus.

Obesity not necessarily a disability
  • Denmark
  • May 11 2016

A recent judgment shows that obesity alone does not constitute a disability under the Anti-discrimination Act, but that it may do so in certain special circumstances. Obesity may constitute a disability only if it has been sufficiently documented that physical, mental or psychological impairments or discomfort caused by it prevent the affected employee from fully and effectively carrying out his or her work on an equal basis with others.


Energy & Natural Resources

Contributed by Bruun & Hjejle
Recommendations for new energy policy
  • Denmark
  • July 10 2017

The government-established Energy Commission recently filed its recommendations for the future energy policy. The commission's report forms part of the policy preparation for the next stage of Denmark's green transition. The central message of the recommendations is that to reach the goal of a low-emissions society by 2050, an ambitious and long-term energy policy must be established by 2020.

Reasonable return on invested capital in heating supply sector
  • Denmark
  • April 10 2017

In several energy supply industry sectors, profits are allowed only as a reasonable return on invested capital subject to regulatory control. This applies, for example, to the electricity distribution, gas distribution and heating supply sectors. The Danish Energy Regulatory Authority is in the process of establishing new methods and principles for determining a reasonable return on invested capital across the different sectors.

Plan for financial regulation of electricity distribution
  • Denmark
  • December 05 2016

The government recently came to an agreement with a majority of Parliament concerning the financial regulation of electricity distribution companies. The agreement is the first step towards the government's new energy supply strategy. However, its details remain vague, including with regards to general and individual optimisation requirements.

Optimisation potential and privatisation in energy supply sector
  • Denmark
  • September 12 2016

McKinsey & Company recently delivered a report analysing the optimisation potential in the energy supply sector as part of the government's anticipated energy supply strategy. The report covers district heating, waste incineration, electricity distribution, gas distribution and water supply, and concludes that there is potential for optimisation of between Dkr5.9 billion and Dkr7 billion annually across these sectors.

Denmark commits to closer energy cooperation with North Sea countries
  • Denmark
  • July 04 2016

The Danish government recently joined other North Sea countries and the European Commission in a common declaration to support further offshore energy development through a detailed programme and structured cooperation between the countries. The aim of the commitment is to create improved conditions for the development of offshore wind energy and ensure a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply in the North Sea region.


Environment & Climate Change

Denmark ratifies Hong Kong convention promoting environmentally sound ship recycling
  • Denmark
  • October 03 2016

Denmark recently ratified the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, which aims to ensure that ships being recycled at the end of their operational lives pose no unnecessary risk to human health and safety or the environment. It is hoped that the convention will help to set global standards to ensure that ships are broken up safely.

New agricultural legislative package announced
  • Denmark
  • April 11 2016

The government recently agreed to a new legislative package on foodstuffs and agriculture that aims to introduce more specific regulations to fully realise the potential of Danish agriculture. The package has since come under criticism from scientists who believe that the numbers behind the proposal are misguiding, and that the package will have larger environmental impacts than first assumed and presented to Parliament.

Municipalities and utility companies cooperate to tackle flooding
  • Denmark
  • February 15 2016

A number of Danish municipalities and utility companies are cooperating at a local level to protect their towns from the effects of climate change. Efforts to protect towns against flooding include limiting the amount of surface water allowed into sewage systems through planning or regulatory measures, diverting surface water to places where it will cause less damage and using urban infrastructure as emergency channels for surface water.


Healthcare & Life Sciences

Court awards historically high damages in patent case
  • Denmark
  • February 08 2017

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently awarded Teva Denmark A/S €13.45 million in damages and €594,000 in legal costs in a patent case. This is the largest amount of damages ever awarded in a Danish patent case and will therefore be subject to thorough review when constructing arguments on damages in future cases.

Repackaging parallel imported pharmaceuticals – new interpretation of necessity requirement
  • Denmark
  • December 14 2016

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently referred to the European Court of Justice the question of whether a trademark holder can lawfully object to the continued marketing of a parallel imported, repackaged pharmaceutical product on which its trademark has been reaffixed if the trademark holder has marketed the product in the same volume and packet size in other European Economic Area countries.

Quetiapine patent invalidated – Danish court follows suit
  • Denmark
  • September 07 2016

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently invalidated AstraZeneca's Danish quetiapine sustained release patent in litigation against Teva Denmark A/S and Accord Healthcare Ltd. Before this judgment, the validity of AstraZeneca's patent had been successfully challenged in several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Specific Mechanism applies to paediatric extension of SPCs and all strengths of pharmaceutical
  • Denmark
  • June 08 2016

The Supreme Court recently examined a case regarding whether the Specific Mechanism applies to the extension of a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) under the Paediatric Extension Regulation. The court confirmed the enforceability of the Specific Mechanism against the parallel import of pharmaceuticals from new EU member states, even if the extended SPC is based on the Paediatric Extension Regulation.

No particular importance attached to European invalidity judgments regarding European patent
  • Denmark
  • March 30 2016

The question of whether courts should consider foreign invalidity judgments regarding the same European patent is a common theme in patent proceedings. According to a recent decision in a case concerning a request for a preliminary injunction against the sale of a generic version of pharmaceutical Seroquel Prolong on the Danish market, little importance is attached to foreign invalidity judgments.