Relating the future topics of computers, hardware, software and telecommunications, as well as in the area of renewable energies and corporate transactions, a bundling of court jurisdiction in NRW has been in effect since January 1, 2022.
As soon as disputes in the areas of IT and telecommunications, renewable energies and corporate transactions (mergers & acquisitions) exceed a certain monetary value, the jurisdictions of the numerous regional courts in NRW will be bundled into 1 or 2 regional courts according to the subject areas.
Basically, this officially regulates a centering on a few regional courts for the modern future issues, which has basically been taking place in practice for quite some time. In the major disputes in Germany, especially in the area of mobile communications, it is always the similar four to five regional courts that are approached by the parties to the dispute.
So now NRW has made the following arrangement for its federal state:
Court jurisdiction in the area of IT
For all disputes in the field of IT and telecommunications are assigned to the Regional Court of Cologne of all regional courts in NRW, whose subject in money or monetary value exceeds the sum of 100,000 euros, in particular:
All disputes in the field of hardware, software and computers, as well as those related to information and communication technology. Since in these areas patent law is often connected with copyrights, this jurisdiction of the Regional Court of Cologne also expressly applies to disputes arising from copyright.
According to this ordinance, the Cologne Regional Court is to decide in particular on disputes in the areas of
- the development, manufacture, sale, maintenance, repair or transfer for use of hardware and software, in particular of computers, also insofar as parts of machines and systems are concerned, or
- services related to information and communication technology, for example IT consulting contracts or IT teaching contracts.
The competent Higher Regional Court (on appeal or (immediate) appeal) for the Renewable Energies sector is the Cologne Higher Regional Court (in German: OLG Köln).
Court jurisdiction for Mergers & Acquisitions
The bundling of transactions in the corporate sector (mergers & acquisitions) also applies to all disputes arising from transformation agreements.
All disputes in this area whose subject matter in money or monetary value exceeds the sum of 500,000 euros will be assigned to the Düsseldorf Regional Court for all regional courts in NRW.
The competent Higher Regional Court (on appeal or (immediate) appeal) for the area of renewable energies is the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (in German: .OLG Düsseldorf)
Jurisdiction in the field of renewable energies
The judicial pooling of jurisdiction in the field of renewable energy comes into force when the requirement of § 3 (1) of the Renewable Energy Sources Act of July 21, 2014 is met and also all disputes related to the shift away from fossil fuels and the promotion of renewable energy, including in connection with research and development in this area.
If disputes in the field of renewable energies exceed the sum of 100,000 euros in terms of money or monetary value, two regional courts will have jurisdiction:
The Essen Regional Court for the districts of all regional courts from the districts of the Cologne and Düsseldorf Higher Regional Courts and for the districts of the Essen and Bochum Regional Courts.
The Regional Court of Bielefeld for the districts of the Regional Courts of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Detmold, Dortmund, Hagen, Münster, Paderborn and Siegen.
The competent Higher Regional Court (on appeal or (immediate) appeal) for the renewable energy sector is the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (in German: OLG Hamm).
New distribution of jurisdiction of courts in NRW
This new distribution of jurisdiction of the regional courts in NRW came into effect on January 1, 2022. Incidentally, for all proceedings that became pending at first instance before the entry into force of this regulation, the previous jurisdictions will remain in place for the entire legal proceedings.
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