European Commission

 

Case detail



Directive article Article 5 1.
Article 6 1. (b)
National ID 4a O 160/10
Country Germany Decision date 16/12/2010
Common name Decision type Court decision, first degree
Court Landgericht Düsseldorf Plaintiff(s)
Court translation District Court Duesseldorf Defendant(s)
Subject misleading statements
Keywords average consumerfalse informationintellectual property rightsmisleading commercial practices

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Headnote

1) A press release may constitute a commercial practice in terms of article 6 UCP Directive.

2) A press release constitutes a misleading commercial practice if the content of the press release, in regard to its allegation, is not true and the false information has a certain business relevance.

Facts

The defendant, a manufacturer of child safety seats, published a press release on the internet with the allegation that the "Most important element of the security concept of the X3 Solution seats is the worldwide patented tilt-adjustable headrest".

In fact the respective headrests were not patented worldwide.

The plaintiff, also a manufacturer of child safety seats, requested cease-and-desist of the advertising with a non existing patent.

Legal issue

(1) Is a press release a commercial practice in terms of Article 6 UCP Directive?

(2) If so, is a press release with false statements able to constitute a misleading commercial practice?
 

Decision

(1) In a short reasoning, the court established that a press release may indeed constitute a commercial practice in terms of Article 5 para.1 UWG, when the necessary business relevance is given. In this case, a patent claim was a feature of significant importance, which was able to influence the transactional decision of an average consumer and cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.


 (2) The court concluded that false statements in press releases constitute a misleading commercial practice, when the transactional decision of an average consumer may be influenced by the press release.

  URL Decision Decision full text
DE N/A
EN N/A

Result

The plaintiff´s request was granted.

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