Finland updates

Insolvency & Restructuring

Contributed by HPP Attorneys Ltd
Amendment of restructuring programme – unclear and unknown debts
  • Finland
  • December 23 2016

A court-approved restructuring programme can be amended only if the preconditions of the Restructuring of Enterprises Act are met. Generally, the contents of an approved programme may be amended with the acceptance of all the creditors whose rights would be violated by an amendment. However, the precondition of the debtors' acceptance is problematic when the amount of a restructuring debt is determined to be substantially more than that originally entered into the restructuring programme.

Bankruptcy estate's liability for maintenance charges
  • Finland
  • May 27 2016

The Supreme Court recently set a precedent regarding the liabilities of a bankruptcy estate in a case that concerned maintenance charges of a limited liability golf company. The legal question subject to the precedent was whether the maintenance charge receivables of the golf company in connection with the golf company's shares were liabilities of the bankruptcy estate.

Validity of retention of title in bankruptcy
  • Finland
  • October 30 2015

Retention of title can be based on either a separate condition in a sales agreement or a specific agreement referred to in the Hire-Purchase Act. A retention of title clause may be used to ensure the seller's rights in circumstances where the seller has no other form of security against the buyer's insolvency. However, it should be drafted carefully to ensure that it remains effective in the event of the buyer's bankruptcy.

Security value of floating charge in restructuring – recent precedents
  • Finland
  • February 27 2015

The Supreme Court recently issued two precedent rulings on how the value of assets that are subject to a floating charge should be determined in restructuring proceedings, holding that the assets were to be valued at their liquidation value. The rulings are expected to have an impact on the stance of financial institutions towards floating charges and their valuation.

Bankruptcy estate taxation explained
  • Finland
  • May 30 2014

The taxation of a bankruptcy estate may affect the liquidation results and expenses arising from the bankruptcy proceedings. Taking tax planning into account may significantly increase a creditor's disbursements in bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Act includes no special provisions regarding taxation.


Insurance

New insurance claim based on same traffic accident not time barred
  • Finland
  • July 04 2017

In 2006 a claim was filed pertaining to a traffic accident in which the claimant had fallen off a moped and suffered a severe brain injury. The insurer rejected the claim in 2007. In 2011 the claimant discovered that the brain injury had caused permanent incapacity and a new insurance claim was filed, which the insurer rejected. The Supreme Court recently had to consider whether the exacerbation of damage starts a new period for a claim if it has already become time barred.

New Motor Liability Insurance Act enters into force
  • Finland
  • February 28 2017

The new Motor Liability Insurance Act recently entered into force. The previous act dated from 1959 and required complete reform and modernisation to respond to existing and future needs. The new act is structured to follow the typical chronology of the underwriting and claims handling process and aims to promote competition by giving the insurance industry the opportunity to develop new products. This appears to be succeeding, as insurers have already launched new products.

Validity of legal expenses insurance
  • Finland
  • December 20 2016

The validity of legal expenses insurance can be problematic when ending business activities. A pharmacist terminated his legal expenses insurance after he retired and ended his business activities. Some time later he received a workers' compensation claim from a former employee. The pharmacist believed that the insurance would cover the matter, but the insurer rejected the claim because the event had occurred after the validity of the insurance.

Insurer's right to terminate cancer insurance
  • Finland
  • August 23 2016

The Financial Ombudsman Bureau recently issued a number of recommendations pertaining to insurers' rights to terminate cancer insurance policies, following on from its 2014 recommendations pertaining to the amendment of cancer insurance premiums and conditions. The recommendations reiterate that insurers cannot amend insurance contracts or terminate unprofitable contracts unless they draft the conditions carefully at the outset and fulfil their duty to inform.

New insurance claim for same traffic accident not time barred
  • Finland
  • June 14 2016

In a recent appeal case the claimant discovered that an accident had caused permanent incapacity after the claimant had filed an insurance claim, which had been rejected. The claimant hence filed a new claim, which was rejected on the basis that it was time barred. However, the court held that the right to compensation is not time barred and that the insurer had to handle the new claim because the accident's effects had manifested after its first decision.


Intellectual Property

Reputation parasitism: functioning concept or failed attempt?
  • Finland
  • August 29 2016

'Reputation parasitism' refers to the exploitation of a competitor's goodwill in marketing, where consumers are not misled regarding a product's commercial origin. Reputation parasitism is often used as secondary grounds for action in Market Court litigation. However, it remains difficult to convince the court that goodwill has been exploited when consumers have not been misled about a product's commercial origin.

Reform of Finnish domain name regime
  • Finland
  • July 04 2016

Legislation concerning '.fi' country code top-level domain names will soon undergo significant amendments, as the Domain Name Act is set to be repealed. Changes include the abolishment of local presence requirements and the adoption of the registry-registrar model. Overall, the reform represents a welcome change; however, it may lead to an increased risk of cybersquatting and domain name parking.

Every IP right starts with a secret: impact of Trade Secrets Directive
  • Finland
  • May 09 2016

The EU Trade Secrets Directive was approved by the European Parliament in April 2016 and member states now have two years to implement the directive into national legislation. The directive will impose changes on Finnish legislation and Finland will at least need to harmonise the different definitions of 'trade secret'. Further, the term 'trade secret holder', which is defined in the directive, will be defined in Finnish legislation for the first time.

Changes to Trademarks Act – one step behind
  • Finland
  • April 04 2016

The Trademarks Act 1964 has naturally been subject to several partial reforms over the years and the need for a complete reform of the act was acknowledged in a 2001 ministry report. However, in a newly presented government proposal, it has been considered more practical to carry out a complete reform in connection with implementation of the new EU Trademark Directive in 2019.

Changes to Community Trademark Regulation: a game changer for Finland?
  • Finland
  • February 08 2016

The new rules in the EU Community Trademark Regulation on the seizure of goods in transit will prove to be important for Finland. For EU trademark holders, Finland will become an interesting hub for the effective seizure of counterfeit goods en route from China to Russia and the Baltic States.


Shipping & Transport

Contributed by HPP Attorneys Ltd
Helsinki Appeal Court on carrier's liability for loss of pharmaceuticals
  • Finland
  • December 06 2017

Correct temperature is vital to maintaining the feasibility and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals throughout their lifecycle, including during carriage. Although various guidelines have been issued and express provisions have been included in transport agreements to maintain the cold chain, damage often occurs. The Helsinki Appeal Court recently considered whether the level of a carrier's liability should be agreed in advance and whether failure to maintain an agreed temperature should constitute gross negligence.

Taxi licence required for driving Uber passengers
  • Finland
  • September 27 2017

The Supreme Court recently issued a much-awaited decision and upheld a Court of Appeal decision involving Uber passenger rides. The Supreme Court ruled that to provide an Uber service a driver must have a taxi licence. It found a driver who had driven Uber passengers without such a licence guilty and imposed a €2,100 fine.

Supreme Court considers division of jurisdiction between maritime and general courts
  • Finland
  • August 16 2017

The Supreme Court recently found that the Maritime Code should have been applied in a personal injury case and that the Espoo District Court (as a general court) did not have subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim. The Supreme Court found that when determining which court has subject-matter jurisdiction, it is necessary to first investigate whether the provisions of the Maritime Code become applicable.

Supreme Administrative Court on reduced fairway dues when carrying empty containers
  • Finland
  • April 12 2017

In a recent case, the Supreme Administrative Court considered whether empty containers owned by those other than shipowners or charterers should be regarded as cargo in the meaning of Section 11 of the Fairway Dues Act, because 'cargo' is not defined in the act. In addition, the court considered the effect of the customs instructions in this matter.

Parliament considers first phase of Transport Code
  • Finland
  • February 08 2017

The Transport Code is one of the government's chief initiatives. Its main purpose is to create a growth environment for business digitalisation and to promote transport business by deregulation. The code will reform the regulation of all transport modes, so that the regulation itself will not become an obstacle to digitalisation, automation and new innovations. Due to the code's broad scope, its preparation has been divided into three phases. The first phase focuses mainly on road transport.


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