The UPC Local Division in Munich finds: Ignoring a court order must hurt!

A recent order of the Local Division in Munich concerns the imposition of fines under Article 82.4 UPCA. The Munich Division finds the fine request to be mostly successful, stating that the respondents violated the preliminary injunction orders of the local chamber issued on September 19, 2023. Consequently, fines under Article 82.4 UPCA are to be imposed. The Court did not consider an oral hearing necessary.


Summary of the case and comments

In this case, the court ruled on a request for fines against the respondents for violating preliminary injunction orders issued by the Local Division on September 19, 2023. 

The court found the fine request largely successful, emphasizing the immediate enforceability of the orders without the need for additional enforcement measures. It rejected the argument that prior notice of actual enforcement was required. The respondents were found to have repeatedly violated the orders, including offering patent-infringing procedures on their website. The court concluded by imposing a fine of 100.000,00 EUR, considering factors such as the nature and duration of the violations, the respondents' past behavior, and the potential harm to the applicants. The decision highlighted the dual purpose of fines: ensuring compliance and serving as a penalty for violating court orders.

The court awards costs based on the applicants' successful claims. The court does not find the applicants responsible for a portion of the costs due to the fundamental success of their claims, despite their formal request for higher fines.

The court allows both parties to appeal the decision, considering it one of the first orders regarding fine imposition for violating a court order.

In conclusion, fines are imposed for the respondents' violations, costs are awarded to the applicant, and both parties are granted the right to appeal the decision.


Our take-aways:

  • Immediate Enforcement of Preliminary Injunction Orders: The court emphasizes the immediate enforceability of preliminary injunction orders without the need for additional court enforcement orders under Art. 82.4 UPCA. The decision clarifies that the conditions for imposing fines are conclusively defined in Art. 82.4 UPCA and any additional enforcement requirements from national laws are not applicable.
  • Significant Fine for Effective Enforcement: In response to the violations, the court imposed a fine of 100.000,00 EUR, emphasizing the importance of the court orders and the need for an effective enforcement mechanism. The court considered factors such as the nature, extent, and duration of the violations in determining the amount of the fine.
  • You may ask for more – no cost burden risk: According to the Court, the applicant fully succeeded, and despite their formal request for higher fines, the court, exercising its discretion under Rule 354.4 of the Rules of Procedure, did not impose any cost burden on the applicant, considering their suggested fine amounts as non-binding.