European Commission

 

Case detail



Directive article Article 7 4. (b)
National ID 5 W 134/11
Country Germany Decision date 20/10/2011
Common name Decision type Court decision in appeal
Court Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht (Hamburg) Plaintiff(s) Not revealed
Court translation Higher Regional Court (Hamburg) Defendant(s) H & M
Subject trader
Keywords geographical addressidentity of the traderinformation requirementsmisleading omissions

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Headnote

The omission to mention information on trader identity and postal address in advertising materials constitutes a misleading commercial practice, even when the consumer can easily find out such information itself.

Facts

The defendant runs fashion stores worldwide and in nearly every German city. It conducted its advertisement through fashion catalogues without providing information on its identity and postal address.
The plaintiff sought to prohibit this advertisement on the basis of misleading omissions.
 

Legal issue

Does the omission to mention information on trader identity and postal address in advertising materials constitute a misleading commercial practice, even when the consumer can easily find out such information itself?

Decision

The court made reference to §§ 5 a II, III and IV UWG which implements Art 7 of the UCP Directive and held that the trader must provide the complete name of the entity, the postal address as well as the legal form of the company. This information must give consumers the opportunity to directly contact the company and rely on the provided information in case of legal disputes, regardless of whether this information can be gathered easily by the consumer himself and whether the company's retail stores are widely known to the public at large.
The court argued that if material information is infringed according to § 5 a III UWG, the interplay between the regulations § 5 a II, III and IV UWG determines that the consumer is missing material information. The information obligations according to § 5 a III or IV UWG are material in the sense of § 5 a II UWG. With the infringement of information obligations according to § 5 a III or IV UWG it is also determined that the infringement of these information obligations leads to a misleading of the consumer. 
The court did not rule on the question whether or not the company must also provide information on its legal representatives. 
 

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Result

The court granted the plaintiff's request.

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