Spain updates

Aviation

Contributed by Augusta Abogados
New regulation on right to refund for cancelled tickets
  • Spain
  • 20 May 2020

The Spanish authorities have issued a number of measures to remedy the impact of COVID-19 on the Spanish aviation industry. This article focuses on a specific topic especially relevant in the current circumstances – namely, the provisions and regulations that the Spanish authorities have recently approved in relation to flight cancellations and ticket refunds.

Court examines alleged abusive clauses in airline terms and conditions
  • Spain
  • 29 April 2020

On 8 January 2019 Commercial Court No 3 of Gijón resolved a collective cessation action brought by the Association of Financial Users, a non-profit entity, against the Spanish airline Volotea relating to some of its transport terms and conditions. Although the court was asked to give its opinion on a number of Volotea's terms and conditions, this article focuses on the most significant issues discussed in this judgment.

Impact of COVID-19 crisis on Spanish aviation industry
  • Spain
  • 22 April 2020

The rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has forced many governments to issue emergency legislation, generally in a hurry and as a reaction to a continuously changing scenario. Spain is among the countries which have been hit particularly hard. This article provides a summary of the main pieces of Spanish legislation that affect the aviation industry.

New ministerial order on issuance and maintenance of air operators' licences
  • Spain
  • 04 March 2020

The Spanish government recently decided that it was time to update its internal regulations regarding the issuance, maintenance, suspension and cancellation of air operators' licences in order to bring them into line with current trends. In doing so, the government issued a new order which contains novelties that merit highlighting.

Supreme Court orders Iberia to cease using abusive terms and conditions
  • Spain
  • 19 December 2018

The Supreme Court (Civil Chamber) recently issued its judgment following cassation proceedings against a 2015 Madrid Provincial Audience judgment. The proceedings stemmed from a 2011 collective action against Iberia, which the Spanish Consumers and Users Organisation had filed with the Madrid Commercial Court in order to obtain the annulment of several clauses of Iberia's standard terms and conditions.


Employment & Immigration

Contributed by CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
Extraordinary employment-related measures introduced in fight against COVID-19
  • Spain
  • 25 March 2020

The government recently published a royal decree-law on urgent and extraordinary measures to address the economic and social impact of COVID-19. The measures include clarification of the grounds and simplification of the procedures to suspend employment contracts or reduce working hours due to force majeure, as well as economic, technical, organisational or production grounds.

Gig economy: Madrid High Court of Justice unifies criteria and declares Glovo riders are employees
  • Spain
  • 18 December 2019

The Madrid High Court of Justice recently ruled that riders for Glovo (a competitor of Deliveroo with a similar business model) are employees and are thus not self-employed. As other courts have ruled in similar cases that riders who operate in the gig economy do not have an employment relationship with their company, this judgment will likely be appealed before the Supreme Court in an attempt to unify the case law on the nature of such relationships.

Right to request working schedule adjustments
  • Spain
  • 30 October 2019

There has been a wave of criticism that the mandatory recording of employees' working hours has hindered the flexibility measures which companies were beginning to introduce. As such, it is somewhat surprising that a recent amendment to the Workers' Statute appears to have flown under the radar, especially given that it aims to boost flexibility in order to uphold employees' rights to a work-life balance.

Difference in severance for employees under service agreements and permanent employees is not discriminatory
  • Spain
  • 14 August 2019

In a preliminary ruling in a case referred to it by the Galicia High Court, the European Court of Justice has confirmed the existence of objective grounds which justify a difference in compensation paid on the termination of works contracts linked to a specific service (ie, 12 days' salary) and the termination of permanent contracts (ie, 20 days' salary). The Galician court must now decide whether the early termination of a service agreement falls under Article 52 of the Workers' Statute.

Is video surveillance valid evidence to justify dismissal on disciplinary grounds?
  • Spain
  • 31 July 2019

The Pamplona Labour Court recently ruled in a case concerning an employee who had been dismissed on disciplinary grounds for his involvement in a fight with a colleague, which had been captured on the CCTV installed in the workplace car park. Notably, the CCTV evidence was admissible under the Data Protection Act. However, as the act does not align with European Court of Human Rights case law and the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the court refused to accept the footage as evidence.


Intellectual Property

Contributed by Grau & Angulo
Copyright protection of fashion designs in Spain after Cofemel
  • Spain
  • 25 May 2020

In light of the European Court of Justice's (ECJ's) decision in Cofemel, copyright protection for fashion designs is now more feasible in Spain. However, it remains to be seen how the Spanish courts (in particular, the Supreme Court) will apply the main teachings and caveats of this ECJ judgment in practice in the field of fashion.

IP-related measures adopted due to COVID-19
  • Spain
  • 11 May 2020

The health crisis caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 led to the approval and entry into force in Spain of Royal Decree 463/2020 on 14 March 2020, which declared a state of alarm. The situation led to the adoption of measures in the judicial and administrative areas. This article highlights the measures of interest for IP owners and practitioners that are adapting to the progressive changes in the situation.

Barcelona patent court dismisses preliminary injunction request based on patent in amended form
  • Spain
  • 23 March 2020

Barcelona Commercial Court No 1 recently refused to grant a preliminary injunction requested by Sanofi against Mylan in relation to an insulin glargine biosimilar product. Sanofi had filed for a limitation of the patent claims in the main proceedings on the merits running parallel, but the court concluded that such an amended form of the patent could be neither asserted nor taken into account in the preliminary injunction proceedings, which had been initiated before based on the patent as granted.

Appeal court upholds criminal sentence for possession of infringing handbags
  • Spain
  • 10 February 2020

The Barcelona Court of Appeal has confirmed a criminal sentence of six months' imprisonment, a fine and compensation of legal costs for the possession of 240 round bags which infringed the famous Robin Ruth Group design. The judgment follows from a trial court's decision to issue a condemnatory sentence based on Article 273.3 of the Criminal Code.

Barcelona court confirms legitimacy of Tommy Hilfiger's use of TH sign
  • Spain
  • 03 February 2020

Barcelona Commercial Court No 6 recently dismissed an action for trademark infringement brought against Hilfiger Stores Spain, SL and upheld its counterclaim, declaring partial revocation for non-use of the plaintiff's Spanish trademark registered for clothing, footwear and hats (Class 25) and leaving it registered exclusively for occasion hats and women's formal party hats.


Litigation

Enforcement of foreign rulings against Supreme Court state ruling
  • Spain
  • 10 December 2019

The Supreme Court recently ruled in a case concerning two elements of international law: state immunity from enforcement and declarations of enforceability. This ruling is significant because it states that the only precedent on the topic of enforcement immunity is a 2005 decision and because it applies the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, which is not yet in force. The ruling is also significant with regard to its interpretation of an 'enforceability declaration'.

Supreme Court rules on scope of mortgage liability
  • Spain
  • 06 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that mortgage liability for interest claimed from third parties is limited to five years in accordance with the Mortgage Act. According to the court, this maximum mortgage coverage applies to all legal effects – regardless of whether these are favourable or adverse – and to agreements between mortgagees and mortgagors and between mortgagors and third-party acquirers.

New law protects tenants during eviction procedures
  • Spain
  • 14 May 2019

The Law on Urgent Measures Relating to Housing and Rental Matters recently entered into force, providing greater protection to tenants. The law has primarily amended the Civil Procedure Act, specifying that matters relating to leases where the claim can be quantified will be excluded from the scope of ordinary proceedings, and that summary proceedings can be initiated for certain amounts in accordance with the corresponding procedural rules.

Barcelona Court of Appeal confirms revocation of AFTERSUN mark
  • Spain
  • 07 August 2018

The Barcelona Court of Appeal recently confirmed the Barcelona Commercial Court 8 decision which upheld L'Oréal's revocation action against Laboratorios Genesse's AFTERSUN mark. L'Oréal had filed the revocation action against the mark due to its popularisation in the Spanish market. Laboratorios Genesse had filed a counterclaim alleging that L'Oréal's use of the expressions 'after sun' and 'after-sun' infringed its trademark rights.

Supreme Court rules on penalty clauses in lease agreements
  • Spain
  • 26 June 2018

The Supreme Court recently analysed the differences between compensatory and punitive penalty clauses in lease agreements and established the requirements for the latter to be valid. The court also ruled that a punitive penalty clause's amount cannot be reduced simply because the lessor enters into a new lease agreement immediately after recovering possession of the commercial premises.