BMW AG – Enforcement of Trade Mark and Registered Community Designs

We are acting for BMW AG in a trade mark and community design infringement case against a major rim distributor and reseller in Finland. After confirming the bulk of our client’s infringement claims, the Market Court is now moving on to the damages phase of the case.

First, however, the court in mid-March issued its decision on our client’s document and information production claims. The court upheld our claims and ordered the defendant to disclose accounting materials, purchase and sale figures, supply chain data and other information.

The Market Court’s order also has wider implications beyond just the case at hand. The Market Court very rarely issues formal document production orders, so the court’s holding is important in outlining the scope of such orders. The Market Court also rejected a number of arguments raised by the defendant which makes it significant in terms of the defences available to defendants in document production matters.

The Market Court’s order is likely to be very happy news to IP proprietors and claimants in Finland. Traditionally, the Finnish courts have taken a very restrictive approach to document production orders. The Market Court’s order is an important step in the gradual liberalisation of case law. Finland is still a long way from US-style discovery proceedings, however.

Note that the decision is still subject to appeal. The order is available in Finnish on the court’s website.