Norway updates

Employment & Immigration

Contributed by Homble Olsby | Littler
Supreme Court clarifies that provisions in terminated collective agreements can remain effective
  • 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.

New ruling on termination and offer of new employment on new terms
  • 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.

Employers' obligation to pay wages during employer period
  • 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.

Proposed amendments to home office regulations published for consultation
  • 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.

LO and NHO agree temporary changes to temporary lay-off rules
  • 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.


Energy & Natural Resources

Contributed by Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS
What security options are available for lenders to offshore wind projects?
  • Norway
  • 15 June 2020

Equinor's pioneering Hywind Tampen project – set to become the biggest floating wind farm in the world – marks the first foray into offshore wind production in Norway. There are high hopes for the potential of this industry in a country with a long coastline and considerable offshore energy production expertise. However, a number of issues must be resolved in order for offshore wind production to become a commercially viable industry in Norway.

Government abandons national framework for land-based wind power
  • Norway
  • 09 March 2020

Following a public hearing, the government has abandoned its plan to finalise and approve a national framework for land-based wind power. According to Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the framework's purpose was to reduce the conflict that land-based wind power has experienced in recent years. However, the public hearing showed that the framework may have had the opposite effect.

Security options for lenders in offshore wind projects
  • Norway
  • 02 March 2020

Equinor's Hywind Tampen project – set to become the biggest floating wind farm in the world – marks the first foray into offshore wind production in Norway. There are high hopes for the potential of this industry in Norway, which has a vast continental shelf and territorial waters and considerable expertise in traditional offshore energy production. That said, a number of issues must be resolved in order for offshore wind production to become a commercially viable industry in Norway.

NVE will not extend commissioning deadlines beyond 31 December 2021
  • Norway
  • 17 February 2020

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate recently announced restrictions on its practice of extending commissioning deadlines for wind power farms. The purpose of extending commissioning deadlines was to meet the political goal of promoting and supporting investments in new wind power farms. However, according to a recent report, concessions for wind power may prevent the positive alternative development of the relevant land and prolong local conflicts.

Raudfjell and Kvitfjell wind farms commence operation
  • Norway
  • 30 September 2019

The first wind turbines in one of Europe's largest land-based wind farms recently commenced operation. The Kvitfjell and Raudfjell onshore wind farm (known as 'Project Northern Lights') is located near the city of Tromsø in northern Norway and comprises 67 turbines with an individual installed effect of 4.2MW and an aggregate installed effect of 281.4MW. The turbines use the latest technology, including direct drive and de-icing technology.


Insurance

The Thorco Cloud and Stolt Commitment collision: a long-lasting battle on courts' jurisdiction
  • 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.

Insurer's bankruptcy: Supreme Court rules on Lugano Convention's insolvency exception
  • Norway
  • 22 December 2020

The Norwegian Supreme Court recently issued a ruling on the insolvency exception in the Lugano Convention and other jurisdictional issues in cross-border insolvencies in a case concerning Danish insurer Alpha Insurance A/S. The Norwegian claimant believed that Section 3 of the Lugano Convention applied, which allows insureds, in matters relating to insurance, to bring actions against insurers before the courts in the insured's domicile state.

Insurance event and periodisation of insurance cover – interpretation and revision of insurance contracts
  • Norway
  • 20 October 2020

The Supreme Court recently confirmed several important starting points relevant to the periodisation of an insurance event for the assessment of cover. The ruling addressed issues relating to both defining insurance periods and determining when insurance events occur. The Supreme Court also addressed the question of what is required to revise an insurance agreement pursuant to Section 36 of the Contract Act on unreasonable contract terms.

Pandemic delay clause in Nordic marine loss of hire insurance
  • Norway
  • 15 September 2020

In marine insurance, business interruption is covered by loss of hire (LoH) insurance. LoH is a separate insurance for loss of time caused by a casualty and linked to the hull and machinery insurance for the insured vessel or unit when it covers repair costs. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed will not be considered a 'casualty' for an insured vessel or unit. However, for marine casualties caused by other perils, it is clear that COVID-19 has led and will lead to significant prolongations of repair periods.


Intellectual Property

Contributed by Bryn Aarflot AS
NIPO administrative reviews: FAQs
  • 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.

Protection of plant varieties under plant breeders' rights
  • 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
  • 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.

Trademark prosecution: FAQs
  • 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.

Patent litigation: FAQs
  • 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.


Shipping & Transport

Contributed by Wikborg Rein
Green shipping: governmental support scheme for green offshore vessels
  • 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.

Full City: key takeaways from limitation fund proceedings
  • Norway
  • 10 February 2021

The limitation fund established following the grounding of the Full City near Langesund in 2009 was recently distributed. The limitation fund proceedings, which ran parallel to the proceedings concerning the limitation fund established following the Server casualty in 2007, have helped to clarify several procedural aspects of limitation funds. This article examines the key takeaways from the limitation fund proceedings now that they have come to an end.

Offshore floating wind turbines and deep-water fish farms: different frameworks for success
  • Norway
  • 03 February 2021

The regulatory framework that exists within the shipping and offshore industries is long established. The general principle is that maritime assets above a certain size must be registered in a national ship registry, and vessel registration plays an important role in the financing of maritime and offshore assets. While the existing framework effectively extends to the offshore floating wind sector in Norway, the same cannot be said for deep-water fish farms.

Withdrawal of wreck removal order following consideration of proportionality
  • Norway
  • 27 January 2021

In a recent administrative appeal decision, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) Head Office reversed the wreck removal order issued by the NCA Emergency Response Centre in respect of a cargo ship which sank in northern Norway in 2017. The decision confirms that the pollution authorities will consider the proportionality of the measures ordered when exercising their administrative discretion.

Beefing up emission and fuel standards in the Arctic
  • Norway
  • 20 January 2021

The 75th session of the International Maritime Organisation Marine Environment Protection Committee recently approved a ban on the use and carriage of so-called 'heavy fuel oil' in the Arctic. The proposed amendments are expected to be formally adopted in June 2021. However, more stringent standards have already been proposed by the Norwegian government for the area surrounding Svalbard.