Trademarks, copyrights, patents, know-how - "IP rights" of all kinds are important economic assets. If they are not only to be used by the company itself, but also to be exploited profita-bly by third parties, legal protection through a corresponding licence agreement is virtually indispensable.
Digital Business31.07.2023 Newsletter
In the metaverse, the real world is linked with the virtual world. Professional activities can also benefit from the metaverse: employees meet each other in virtual rooms using avatars and work together from different locations, they complete training courses, practise manual operations and contact customers to sell their company's own products. However, working with the metaverse does not only offer numerous possibilities, it can also have an impact on employees’ physical and mental health, which has to be borne in mind. Also under the aspect of occupational health and safety, the metaverse is not a legal vacuum.
Digital Business25.07.2023 Newsletter
In the course of constantly advancing digitisation, more and more companies are dependent on (networked) IT systems. This means that IT security is becoming increasingly important for companies. At the same time, the threat to IT systems from cyber criminals is on the rise, as can be seen from several sensational cases from the business world. Most recently, for example, the civilian division of the armaments group and automotive supplier Rheinmetall was the victim of a hacker attack in April 2023, when its systems were shut down entirely. If a company incurs damage, the question of the liability of the responsible managers quickly arises. Below, we provide an overview of the action managers are required to take in connection with the establishment and organisation of IT security in the company.
While many areas are still discussing and trying out how software-based compliance tools can be used sensibly, software in the area of sanctions compliance has already been indispensable for years. With the imposition of far-reaching financial sanctions by the EU in the context of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, its importance has increased again significantly since 2022. In the almost endless selection of available software solutions for sanctions screenings, there is something for (almost) every company. However, the use of these solutions also entails legal risks and challenges for the business process, which we would like to highlight here.
Private Clients20.07.2023 Newsletter
In practice, legal transactions by minors frequently require more effort in terms of their justification and organisation. The reform of guardianship and care law will make several aspects of this easier. Other legal transactions will require approval for the first time.
Digital Business17.07.2023 Newsletter
As in an earlier article in our series on the metaverse, we are addressing the topic of the distribu-tion of digital products. In this context, the question that inevitably arises is whether and how trademarks can be protected in the metaverse. As far as the application of trademark law is con-cerned, much is still unclear in this context. The principles developed to date by law and jurispru-dence can only be applied to a limited extent to this as yet relatively unknown field. The following article explains the extent to which trademark protection in the real world also applies in the virtual realm and what significance this has for the future trademark strategy of companies.
IT Law and Data Protection12.07.2023 Newsletter
On 10 July 2023, the EU Commission decided that the EU-US Data Privacy Framework ("DPF") ensures an adequate level of protection for transfers of personal data from the EU and the EEA to the US. This will make it easier for companies to transfer data to the US, for example when using the services of US cloud providers, as complex risk assessments and supplementary measures will no longer be necessary.
Oppenhoff has appointed Marvin Rochner as partner and Moritz Schmitz as junior partner with effect from 1 July 2023.
It is not just in the automotive industry that commercial representative models or “agency models” are currently booming. More and more manufacturers - across the board - are changing the distribution of their products to commercial representatives or are planning to do so in the next few years. From the principal’s point of view, these models are very advantageous: they give the principal greater influence over the design and compliance of its distribution system as well as on the price level of its products and services, and enable greater proximity to the end customer.
As of July 12, 2023, the Foreign Subsidies Regulation ("FSR"), which has been eagerly awaited by M&A practitioners in particular, will largely take effect.
Digital Business05.07.2023 Newsletter
We continue our series of articles on the metaverse. This article contains further important aspects concerning the labour law challenges in the metaverse: What is the "diversity & inclusion" situation in the metaverse? And how should you deal with harassment and discrimination risks?
Oppenhoff has provided comprehensive legal and tax advice to the shareholders of Galileo Lebensmittel-Group on the company’s sale to Dr. August Oetker KG.
Employment Law29.06.2023 Newsletter
Since our last Newsletter, the draft law of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs [Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS] on the recording of working hours in Germany has become available. We had already presented the relevant details to you. Reactions from the political and business communities were not long in coming; most recently, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group voiced considerable criticism of the draft. It is expected that the draft law will undergo considerable amendments during the parliamentary procedure and that clear legal requirements for recording working hours will be even longer in coming. Naturally, we will report on this.
Algorithms and AI have become indispensable in the corporate world. Digital compliance is also becoming increasingly important. We understand this term to mean software-based compliance tools that support or potentially take over the "analogue" compliance work. In a multi-part series of articles, we highlight the advantages, risks and legal guard rails in the use of these compliance programs. In the first part, we offer you an introduction and overview of the exciting topic of "digital compliance". In the following articles, we will take a closer look at important individual aspects such as data protection and labor law issues.
The EU has adopted its 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The new package is primarily intended to counter circumvention of the restrictive measures already in place. After a reportedly heated debate, the EU has agreed on a new instrument to combat circumvention practices by prohibiting exports to third countries other than Russia. It has, however, not decided on any goods or countries concerned by this new prohibition yet. This new instrument is to be used only if other individual measures and contacts with the countries concerned have no effect. Most of the new provisions entered into force on 23, respectively 24 June 2023.
Oppenhoff has advised the real estate investment company Dr. Rüger Holding GmbH & Co. KG on the conclusion of a hotel lease agreement with Ennismore Germany GmbH and KNSA Hospitality. The hotel, which will have 146 rooms, will open in Düsseldorf-Friedrichstadt in 2024. It will be the first TRIBE Hotel established by Ennismore in Germany with KNSA.
Oppenhoff has advised the AustriaEnergy Group together with Simmons & Simmons on the creation and placement of a Green Bond with a target volume of €25 million.
Digital Business12.06.2023 Newsletter
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are used to assign unique digital products to their holders. In 2021, the hype around NFT primarily arose with regard to digital artwork. In March 2021, for example, the artist Beeple put the digital artwork "Everydays: The first 5000 days" up for auction at Christies and sold it for a record sum of over 69 million euros. Since then, NFTs have also become very popular in the metaverse. For example, limited-edition digital clothing for one's own avatar is linked to an NFT and distributed to customers.
Oppenhoff has once again comprehensively advised the EIC Fund on its investments in Germany. This time, the EIC Fund invested in the biotech start-up CO2BioClean GmbH.
Oppenhoff has advised the venture capital investor BeyondBuild GmbH on a strategic merger of spaceOS Limited and Equiem Holdings Pty. Ltd. BeyondBuild GmbH is a VC investor that specialises in proptech and was one of the first professional investors in the Warsaw and Dublin-based start-up spaceOS Limited.
Private Equity / Mergers & Acquisitions / Banking and Capital Markets Law, Financing / Employment Law / Real Estate Law / Antitrust Law and Merger Control / Commercial / Intellectual Property Law / IT Law and Data Protection / Tax Law24.05.2023 News
Oppenhoff has provided comprehensive legal advice to the Munich-based private equity investor Family Trust Investor on its investment in Hyla Germany GmbH. Hyla Germany GmbH is the exclusive distribution partner in Germany and Austria of Hyla D.O.O., a manufacturer of high-quality air and room cleaning equipment under the "Hyla" brand.
Oppenhoff has advised MAI Marketing Automation Intelligence Group GmbH ( MAI Group) on the acquisition of xpose360 GmbH (xpose360), a specialist agency for digital performance marketing. xpose360 will become part of MAI Group as part of the transaction and the existing shareholders of xpose360 will become shareholders in MAI Group.
The federal and state governments have been able to reach a compromise on the protection of whistleblowers, and today, 12 May 2023, the Bundesrat approved the amended German Whistle-blower Protection Act [Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz, HinSchG].
Insolvency and Restructuring12.05.2023 News
Oppenhoff is advising the CEO of Gerry Weber International AG, Angelika Schindler-Obenhaus, on the company’s financial and operational restructuring.
IT Law and Data Protection / Dispute Resolution – Litigation – Arbitration Proceedings05.05.2023 Newsletter
In its judgment of 4 May 2023, the ECJ (C-300/21) clarified that a non-material claim for damages under data protection law requires proof of specific and causal harm. A materiality threshold for claiming damages in national law is not permissible. The procedural rules for the judicial assess-ment of damages are governed by national law. What partly sounds self-evident has so far been decided inconsistently by German courts and has led to much discussion in the legal literature. Until now, it has been unclear when a non-material claim for damages exists under the GDPR. However, further legal questions on damages remain open.