With Germany finally implementing the Trade Secrets Directive into their national law, know-how theft cases are becoming more frequent.  Whilst questions have been raised around adequate protection for whistle blowers and journalists, many see the new laws as a positive move towards better know-how protection in Germany.

For more information, and to read Frankfurt IP

Recently, a draft for the 3rd Amendment to the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Staatsvertrag zum Glücksspielwesen in Deutschland – “GlueStV”) has been published (“3rd Amendment”). The draft for the 3rd Amendment is available in German here.

Proposed changes under the draft for the 3rd Amendment

The key changes under the proposed 3rd Amendment are as follows:

  • The current version of the GlueStV contains a rather restrictive quota for governmental sports betting licenses in Germany. According thereto, only 20 licenses are available for all of Germany and only for a certain experimental period expiring on 30 June 2019. This 20-licenses-quota is currently subject to pending court proceedings before German administrative courts which led to a de facto suspension of the quota. A key change under the 3rd Amendment is the intended complete removal of the 20-licenses-quota for the deration of the experimental period.
  • At the same time, the experimental period shall be extended until 30 June 2021. A further consecutive extension until 30 June 2024 may be possible.
  • The 3rd Amendment to the GlueStV shall enter into force on 1 January 2020.


Continue Reading German Interstate Treaty on Gambling under revision: Additional sports betting licenses may be available soon

Germany is a leading jurisdiction for patent litigation, yet it is still not popular for those bringing trade secrets disputes. Frankfurt partner Dr Anette Gärtner has published a case comment, “German Federal Supreme Court: Hohlfasermembranspinnanlage II — Enforcement of Claims for Misuse of Trade Secrets”, looking at the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the misappropriation

After another statement by the German Data Protection Authorities (German DPAs) of 5 September 2018 (Statement, available in English here), stating that the operation of a fan page as offered by Facebook was illegal, Facebook reacted “overnight” and released a co-controller agreement, the “Page Insights Controller Addendum” (Insights Addendum, available here). In a press release of 16 November 2018 (Press Release, available in German here), the Berlin Data Protection Authority (Berlin DPA) announced that it has been auditing organisations concerning the use of Facebook fan pages since early November. In this blog, we provide recommendations as to what organisations should do next.

Background

On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its judgment (Case C-210/16), holding that the operator of a fan page on Facebook is jointly responsible with Facebook for processing the data of visitors to the fan page. Only a day later, the German DPAs released their first statement on the consequences of the judgment, arguing that organisations do not meet data protection standards when operating a fan page on Facebook, leaving marketers in Germany and Europe with lots of uncertainty (for more background, please review our previous blog How big is the risk to operate Facebook fan pages in Germany?). Three months then passed without Facebook providing any solution to the operators of fan pages.

Continue Reading Update on Facebook fan pages: What should organisations do after the release of Facebook’s co-controller agreement?

The German regulatory practice has been to treat bitcoin as a unit of account and thus a financial instrument. Consequently, commercial services involving bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (including trading, brokerage, operating exchanges, investment advisory ) are regulated activities, requiring the relevant authorisation of Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, or BaFin). On 25 September

On 24 August 2018, the Munich Court of Appeal (“Court”) issued a preliminary injunction against Facebook that prohibits Facebook from deleting a certain user’s post (docket no. 18 W 1294/18).

Facts of the case

The claimant is a Facebook user who had taken part in a discussion on the Facebook page of a renowned German news journal on Austria’s announcement of border controls. In the course of a controversial discussion, in particular with another Facebook user, the claimant posted a quotation of the German poet Wilhelm Busch, combined with a provocative statement against another Facebook user:

Original German wording English convenience translation:
… Gar sehr verzwickt ist diese Welt, mich wundert’s daß sie wem gefällt. Wilhelm Busch (18321908)

Wusste bereits Wilhelm Busch 1832 zu sagen:-D Ich kann mich argumentativ leider nicht mehr mit Ihnen messen, Sie sind unbewaffnet und das wäre nicht besonders fair von mir.

… This world is very tricky, I wonder who likes it. Wilhelm Busch (1832–1908)

Wilhelm Busch already knew in 1832 to say :-D Unfortunately, I can no longer compete with you argumentatively, you are unarmed and that wouldn’t be particularly fair of me.

Facebook deleted the claimant’s post.
Continue Reading Munich Court of Appeal prohibits Facebook from deleting a post that does not fall under the German Hate Speech Act

In anticipation of the implementation of the Trade Secrets Directive, the topic of know-how protection has been widely discussed. Dr Anette Gärtner, along with Sabrina Gossler, has written an article which explores the current legal situation in Germany, analyses the relevant provisions of the Directive and explains the immediate next steps for companies operating in

With the Privacy Shield, the Umbrella Agreement and the GDPR capturing significant attention, it would be easy to overlook some of the other important developments that have taken place in the data protection sphere. We have rounded up some of the main stories.

Next UK Information Commissioner announced

Pending the formal approval process, Elizabeth Denham (Information and Privacy Commissioner, British Columbia, Canada) is scheduled to take over from Christopher Graham as the UK’s next Information Commissioner. Minister for Data Protection Baroness Neville-Rolfe, has commended Ms. Denham on her proactive approach to enforcing data protection law, and acknowledged her “track record of working with business and other stakeholders”. Ms. Denham’s appointment should take place in June as Mr. Graham’s term of office ends 28 June.
Continue Reading Update on the UK’s Information Commissioner, IP Addresses and Russia’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Laws

Bavarian Privacy Watchdog Fines Seller and Purchaser for Personal Data Transfer

On 30 July 2015, one of Germany’s State Data Protection Authorities (DPA) announced that it will put asset deals which involve the transfer of personal data under special surveillance. The reason for the announcement was a case where the DPA had recently fined both

At the Data Protection Conference in Berlin, the Berlin and Hamburg Data Protection Commissioners (Commissioners) made a number of important announcements regarding the ‘inadequacy’ of the EU/U.S. Safe Harbor Program.

Both Dr. Alexander Dix and Prof. Johannes Caspar, Commissioners for Berlin and Hamburg respectively, asserted that U.S. companies do not protect data to the same