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.
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.
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.
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.
Following the entry into force of Royal Decree 8/2019, companies are now required to record employees' working hours on a daily basis. This article addresses a number of key questions regarding this new obligation, including with regard to its scope, overtime, the recording system or method to be used and the applicable penalties.
The Royal Decree-Law on Urgent Measures to Guarantee Equal Treatment and Opportunities for Women and Men in Employment and Occupation recently came into force, amending the Workers Statute and the Equality Law. The decree-law, which applies to companies established in Spain, aims to improve gender equality between women and men, reinforce equal pay and enable parents to share childcare responsibilities.
The Barcelona Court of Appeal, following European Court of Justice case law regarding the exhaustion of the trademark rights, recently declared that Red Paralela SL and Red Paralela BCN SL had infringed Schweppes International Limited's Spanish trademarks by importing and commercialising in Spain Schweppes-branded tonics which had been manufactured in the United Kingdom by Coca-Cola/Atlantic Industries, the owner of the UK SCHWEPPES trademarks.
In July 2019 the Oviedo Court of Appeal confirmed a trial court decision which had found the defendant guilty of copyright infringement, sentenced him to six months' imprisonment and ordered him to pay the plaintiff's court costs and damages of an amount to be determined during the enforcement of the sentence on grounds of civil liability. In reaching its decision, the court highlighted the multiple contradictions in the defendant's allegations and confirmed the value of the evidence.
A recent European Court of Justice judgment is good news for EU designers as it confirms what has already been stated by some Spanish courts – namely, that a design need not have artistic merit, aesthetic value or a particular visual attraction to qualify for copyright protection. Although the judgment was issued in response to a ruling by the Portuguese courts, it will undoubtedly have clear consequences throughout the European Union. This article examines the decision in view of the Spanish legal framework.
The Madrid Court of Appeal recently confirmed a Madrid Trial Court Number 11 decision which had sentenced a Spanish resident of Chinese origin to five months' imprisonment for the possession of 9,317 counterfeit items of clothing – including t-shirts which infringed FC Barcelona's IP rights – for commercial purposes. The appeal court also confirmed the trial court's order of a fine, additional penalties, civil liability payments and compensation for legal costs.
Grifols, SA filed a lawsuit before the Barcelona courts against Algoritmos Procesos y Diseños, SA (APD) for infringement of a patent which protected a blister pack handling machine. Once the lawsuit was admitted, APD filed a declinatory plea due to lack of territorial jurisdiction. However, the court rejected APD's plea and pointed out that this was a case of forum choosing (rather than forum shopping) which illustrates the importance of patent owners' right to choose.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.