Latest updates

NIPO administrative reviews: FAQs
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 21 June 2021

An 'administrative review' is a procedure offered by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office as a cheaper, simpler and quicker alternative to court procedures when challenging the validity of a patent. The proceedings are structurally similar to opposition proceedings but provide for the winning party's costs to be covered, similar to court proceedings. However, fewer grounds can be invoked in a request for administrative review compared with an opposition.

Supreme Court clarifies that provisions in terminated collective agreements can remain effective
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 16 June 2021

In its judgment in the 'Grefsenhjemmet case', the Supreme Court clarified that provisions on salary increases for long service in a collective bargaining agreement must be regarded as wage terms incorporated into individual employment contracts, and that they do not lapse following the termination of the collective agreement. This decision was eagerly awaited; earlier proceedings in this case provoked heated debate among the employment bar.

Protection of plant varieties under plant breeders' rights
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 14 June 2021

Plant breeders' rights provide protection of plant varieties. In Norway, where such protection is granted by the Plant Variety Board, breeders can prevent third parties from producing or importing plant material of their plant variety with a view to offering it for sale or otherwise marketing it for purposes of propagation. Third parties must also obtain permission from the breeder if they intend to commercially produce cut flowers or ornamental material by reproducing protected propagation material or plants.

Trademark litigation: FAQs
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 07 June 2021

In Norway, the Trademark Act 2010 regulates the registration, administrative opposition, cancellation and invalidation proceedings regarding trademarks. As well as the formal procedural requirements, the Trademark Act also contains the material requirements for trademark registration. This article answers FAQs about trademark litigation in Norway.

New ruling on termination and offer of new employment on new terms
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 02 June 2021

The Gulating Court of Appeal recently issued a decision which considered whether an employer had issued an unjustifiable termination and offer of new employment on new terms. As opposed to the district court, the majority of the Gulating Court of Appeal accepted the employee's claim and awarded her compensation.

Green shipping: governmental support scheme for green offshore vessels
Wikborg Rein
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Norway
  • 26 May 2021

In furtherance of its ambition to cut CO2 emissions from the short-sea shipping industry by 50% by 2030, the government recently announced that NKr150 million has been earmarked to support green investments in offshore vessels in 2021. With the international focus on green and sustainable shipping, this is a welcome development for shipowners in the Norwegian market and an important contribution to the maritime industry as a whole.

Employers' obligation to pay wages during employer period
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 26 May 2021

In the revised Budget 2021, the government has refrained from introducing an 'employer period II' in the event of temporary lay-offs (known as 'furlough' in some jurisdictions). The rationale for this is that based on the current situation, employer period II would not serve as an incentive to bring employees back to work and would merely constitute an extra cost for companies which are already in a difficult financial situation.

Trademark prosecution: FAQs
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 24 May 2021

In Norway, the Trademark Act 2010 regulates the registration, administrative opposition, cancellation and invalidation proceedings regarding trademarks. As well as the formal procedural requirements, the Trademark Act also contains the material requirements for trademark registration. This article answers FAQs about trademark prosecution in Norway.

Proposed amendments to home office regulations published for consultation
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 19 May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions as to the rules that apply to home offices and placed greater relevance on the Regulations on Work Carried Out in Employees' Homes. There have also been numerous social and technological developments since the regulations entered into force, which has given rise to a need for a review of their provisions. As such, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs recently published proposed amendments to the regulations for consultation.

Patent litigation: FAQs
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 17 May 2021

The Patent Act constitutes the basic legislative framework regarding patents and their extent under Norwegian law. The Patent Act and its accompanying rules regulate the filing, formalities and substantive examination of patent applications and the registration, administrative opposition, cancellation and invalidation of granted patents. This article answers FAQs about patent litigation in Norway.

LO and NHO agree temporary changes to temporary lay-off rules
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 12 May 2021

The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise recently agreed to temporarily extend the interruption period for temporary lay-offs from six weeks to 10 weeks. This change will last until 30 September 2021 and makes it easier and less risky for employers to bring temporarily laid-off employees back to work.

Implementation of new Customs Act
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 10 May 2021

By 1 July 2021 a new Customs Act will be implemented in Norway, with simplified procedures relating to the destruction of consignments which contain counterfeit goods. The amendments aim to align Norwegian customs control with EU regulations and practice. For IP owners, the new procedures are long overdue and will be welcomed. Under the new rules, counterfeit goods are more likely to be detained and destroyed, which in turn may result in fewer attempts to import counterfeit products overall.

Government proposes new measures to combat work-related crime
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 05 May 2021

The government has proposed several new measures to prevent and counteract work-related crime, including with regard to penalising wage theft, requiring that wages be paid via bank transfer rather than in cash and approving certain businesses to limit rogue actors. Parliament will now consider the proposals.

Patent prosecution: FAQs
Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Intellectual Property
  • Norway
  • 03 May 2021

The Patent Act constitutes the basic legislative framework regarding patents and their extent under Norwegian law. The Patent Act and its accompanying rules regulate the filing, formalities and substantive examination of patent applications and the registration, administrative opposition, cancellation and invalidation of granted patents. This article answers FAQs about patent prosecution in Norway.

Alleged retaliation cases after whistleblowing may be processed in the Anti-discrimination Tribunal
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 28 April 2021

The government recently submitted a proposal to Parliament for the establishment of a low-threshold service in the Anti-discrimination Tribunal for the processing of alleged unlawful retaliation in notification cases. The proposal means that the Anti-discrimination Tribunal will have the authority to assess the existence of an illegal retaliation and provide redress for non-economic loss and, in some cases, compensation for damages to an employee who has been subjected to illegal retaliation after notification.

Must jobseekers inform potential employers that they were dismissed by their former employer?
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 21 April 2021

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision concerning jobseekers' duty to provide information about previous employment relationships to potential new employers. The court highlighted a set of principled guidelines with regard to the content of the information to be provided and the extent of jobseekers' duty to provide such information. The key takeaway from the judgment is that it is primarily up to employers to clarify qualification requirements and skills that are of significant importance to the position.

The Thorco Cloud and Stolt Commitment collision: a long-lasting battle on courts' jurisdiction
  • Insurance
  • Norway
  • 30 March 2021

The Supreme Court is currently considering whether it will, for the third time, grant leave to appeal in respect of a procedural dispute in the wake of the 2015 collision between two vessels. Jurisdiction in Norway was originally sought on the basis that one of the vessel's protection and indemnity insurers was Norwegian. The previous decisions concerned the interpretation of the Lugano Convention and the question of whether the Norwegian courts are competent to assume jurisdiction in this matter.

Overview of current temporary lay-off rules
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 17 March 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have experienced a reduction in their workload and have had to temporarily lay off employees. However, it can be difficult for employers and employees to stay up to date with the rules on temporary lay-offs. This article highlights the key terms and procedural rules relating to temporary lay-offs, providing an overview of the current rules and proposed changes.

New rules on tax-free gifts from employers and tax exemption for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 10 March 2021

The government has made several changes to the regulations concerning the reporting and taxation of benefits in kind. The changes aim to simplify how employers apply the regulations in practice. Previously, gifts from employers were tax free only when they were part of the company's general scheme; however, this requirement has been repealed. The government has also decided that influenza and COVID-19 vaccines covered by employers will be tax free from 2021.

Sickness benefits, work assessment allowance, unemployment benefits and entry quarantine rules extended
Homble Olsby | Littler
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Norway
  • 03 March 2021

As part of the COVID-19 crisis package, the government has proposed to extend the schemes for sickness benefits, the jobseekers' work assessment allowance, unemployment benefits and employers' expenses relating to foreign nationals' entry quarantine and employees' quarantine hotel stays.