The 4th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court recently considered a case where the plaintiff claimed an unjust evidence determination had violated its personal rights and damaged his commercial standing. The court held the procedure was justified since it was conducted on the basis of a court decision, no objection had been raised during the determination, and unlawful use of the software by other companies justified the defendant’s request regarding the plaintiff’s specific workplace.

At the Court of First Instance, the plaintiff sought immaterial damages. It claimed an evidence determination procedure, conducted by an expert witness, had found no unlicensed software on his computers. The procedure was conducted without the defendant submitting any documents or evidence to support its claims about the plaintiff’s specific use of counterfeit software. The plaintiff argued that this constituted an abuse of the right to legal remedies and the procedure violated his personal rights, as well as damaged his commercial standing.

The defendant argued before the Court of First Instance that use of counterfeit software by other companies should be taken as an indication of the plaintiff’s unlicensed use. The defendant also argued that since no objections were raised during evidence recording, the process has been legally and duly conducted.

The Court of First Instance partially accepted the plaintiff’s claims, holding that the evidence recording was conducted based on an illegal complaint and this had damaged the plaintiff’s commercial standing. The court based its reasoning on the expert witness report which indicated that no counterfeit software was found during the recording. The defendant appealed the judgement to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court overturned the Court of First Instance’s judgment, holding that the defendant’s complaint (which triggered the evidence determination) was legitimate. The court held that the evidence determination procedure had been justified because it was conducted on the basis of a court decision, no objection had been raised during the determination, and unlawful use of the software by other companies justified the defendant’s request regarding the plaintiff’s workplace.

Case reference: Yarg. 4. HD. 28.01.2015, 2014/4987 E., 2015/1053 K.)