Preliminary injunction requests and “the acquiescence clock”

A recent ruling by the Maritime and Commercial High Court serves as a reminder that the rightsholder has to realize that the acquiescence clock is ticking in preliminary injunction cases.

In the case in question, the Maritime and Commercial High Court had to decide whether Verner Panton A/S could obtain a preliminary injunction against the sale of cushions and other accessories compatible with the Verner Panton A/S Panto Chair. 

However, the court never actually made an assessment of the material content of the case, as Verner Panton's request for a preliminary injunction was rejected due to acquiescence. 

The parties had corresponded since 2009, including about the alleged infringement. But the preliminary injunction case was not filed until October 2020. On that basis, the Maritime and Commercial High Court found that it could not find in favour of the request for a preliminary injunction. 

Usually acquiescence is suspended when the rightsholder raises a clear objection, as the alleged infringer then cannot plan to continue its actions. According to Section 413(1)(iii) of the Administration of Justice Act, the condition for obtaining a preliminary injunction is that "the party would not be able to assert its rights if the party had to await the legal decision of the dispute", and in this specific case, the rightsholder could not meet the burden of proof in relation to this condition.

Read the decision of the Maritime and Commercial High Court (in Danish)

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