Sø- og Handelsretten udvidede ved deres afgørelse af d. 4. november 2019 rammerne for personlig hæftelse for IP krænkelser

In its decision of 4 November 2019, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court extended the framework for personal liability for IP violations

In a case involving the copying of several television products, the Maritime and Commercial Court ruled that not only directors and ultimate owners of a company can become personally liable for IP violations, the responsibility can now also be extended to senior executives who have been involved in the decision to violate. These are new practices that can lead to a stronger response to copies of IP rights.

Bilablau ApS imported a number of copy products and put them up for sale on their website. Telebrands not only sued the company, but also the company’s two proprietors and a business manager who had handled the correspondence with Telebrands in connection with the removal of the infringing products. During an evidentiary case held at the company’s address, the connection to the company’s data was disconnected and it was difficult for Telebrands to provide definitive proof of who was responsible for the violations. During the subsequent Maritime and Commercial Law case, Telebrands included both the two proprietors and the business manager in the case.

There is already well-developed practice that ultimate owners of a small company that have done copying can be made co-responsible for IP rights infringement. This is due to the rules on the participant’s liability and also the question of direct responsibility for the violation. The decisions made so far are not based on so-called breach of responsibility, which is difficult to obtain in company law.

This judgment extended the practice so far to include employees who have had an active role in the offending behavior.

Lawyer Johan Løje represented Telebrands in the case.