Category Archives: Politics Law Society

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – New additions to commercial and company law team

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – New additions to commercial and company law team

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - New additions to commercial and company law team

We at the international commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte have bolstered our team in order to make further improvements to the high-quality advice we provide to our growing clientele.

The trajectory at GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte continues to be one of growth. Our commercial law firm“s objective is to closely collaborate with our clients both at home and abroad to provide interdisciplinary and comprehensive solutions. To meet our own high standards as well as, of course, the expectations of our clients and offer even better advisory services, attorneys Dr. Florian Wirkes and Dr. Hilmar Müller will now be joining our team of experienced lawyers. With these two new additions to our team, the range and depth of GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte“s expertise continues to grow and puts us in a position to provide performance-based solutions even in the face of the most complex of demands.

Dr. Florian Wirkes, LL.M, first studied law at the Universität zu Köln in Cologne and later worked for, among others, a law firm in Bangkok. Following his traineeship, he went on to obtain a Masters in Wirtschaftsrecht (LL.M.), i.e. commercial law, from the Universität zu Köln, completed his doctorate in 2017 while working and has since joined GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte.

Dr. Hilmar Müller studied law at the Universität zu Potsdam with a focus on commercial and company law. He completed his doctorate in the field of stock corporation law before working within the framework of his traineeship for, among others, a law firm in London. His main areas of practice were in the field of company law, in particular mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as commercial law in general.

Now with Dr. Florian Wirkes and Dr. Hilmar Müller on board, GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte has once again expanded upon its extensive expertise in the areas of commercial, trade and company law. From our offices in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich Stuttgart, London and Singapore, we provide our clientele with excellent interdisciplinary legal advice and develop comprehensive solutions. In doing so, we continue on our path to become a consistently client-oriented service provider and competent consultant for national and international businesses, companies, institutional investors as well as private individuals.

https://www.grprainer.com/en

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Prohibition of competition – BGH bolsters commercial agents“ rights

Prohibition of competition – BGH bolsters commercial agents“ rights

Prohibition of competition - BGH bolsters commercial agents" rights

Commercial agency agreements often include a prohibition of competition, also known as a no-competition clause. Notwithstanding this, certain clauses in the general terms and conditions may be invalid, as is clear from a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court (Az.: VII ZR 100/15).

Companies frequently arrange a post-contractual prohibition of competition with their commercial agents, whereby the commercial agent commits not to entice any clients away from the company over a specified period of time after the agreement has been terminated. However, we at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that these kinds of clauses in the general terms and conditions may be invalid if they“re not drafted in a sufficiently transparent manner. That was the verdict of the BGH.

In the instant case, the commercial agent had served as a financial advisor to a company. In September of 2011, the contractual relationship was brought to an end. It had been contractually agreed in the general terms and conditions that the financial advisor would not lure clients away from the company or attempt to do so for a period of two years following termination of the commercial agency relationship.

The company took the view that the financial advisor had violated this agreement, arguing that the latter had induced four clients to change or terminate their contracts during the term of the post-contractual prohibition of competition, or at least attempted to do so. The company raising the legal action therefore asserted claims against the financial advisor, but the action was unsuccessful even before the BGH.

The Karlsruhe judges held that the post-contractual prohibition of competition in the general terms and conditions had not been effectively agreed. The clause „Vermögensberater verpflichtet sich, es für die Dauer von zwei Jahren nach Beendigung des Handelsvertreterverhältnisses zu unterlassen, der Gesellschaft Kunden abzuwerben oder dies auch nur zu versuchen“ (the commercial agent commits not to entice clients away from the company or even to attempt to do so for a period of two years following termination of the commercial agency agreement) was said to constitute a violation of the requirement for transparency and was thus invalid.

The Court held that the post-contractual prohibition of competition unquestionably represented one of the company“s general terms and conditions. The clause was said to violate the requirement for transparency because it failed to make sufficiently clear whether the prohibition of competition extended only to parties who were clients during the term of the agreement or whether it also covered parties who only became clients after the commercial agency agreement had been terminated. The Court therefore ruled that the scope of the prohibition of competition was unclear to the agent. As such, the BGH went on to conclude that it did not even need to be established whether the prohibition of competition was invalid due to the lack of a specific arrangements for parent leave compensation.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of commercial law can advise companies and commercial agents alike.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/commercial-law/commercial-agency-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

OLG Düsseldorf – Deletions in a will need to be ambiguous

OLG Düsseldorf – Deletions in a will need to be ambiguous

OLG Düsseldorf - Deletions in a will need to be ambiguous

If a testator removes parts of his will, these deletions should demonstrably come from him. Otherwise, the deleted passages might still be effective.

A testator is free to amend his will. That being said, he ought to make sure that any changes made can be unequivocally attributed to him. In cases involving a handwritten will, the changes also need to be handwritten by the testator and preferably signed and dated. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note, however, that it may be a good idea to draw up a new will to ensure that the testamentary dispositions are effectively implemented.

The fact that subsequent amendments can be ineffective is demonstrated by a ruling of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Düsseldorf [Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf] from September 29, 2017 (Az.: I-3 Wx 63/16). In the case in question, the testator had written a will with a black pen in which he designated friends and his partner as heirs. His appointment of friends as heirs was later crossed out with a blue pen.

Following the death of the testator, the friends he initially designated as heirs applied for a certificate of inheritance. However, the probate court dismissed the application because they had been crossed out as heirs. Moreover, it was established on the basis of an expert handwriting assessment that the testator had personally made the changes.

Notwithstanding this, the OLG Düsseldorf took a different view. It held that while the testator can make amendments to his will by crossing out passages with a view to nullifying them, it could not be proven with sufficient certainty in this particular case that the changes did in fact come from the testator as there was no witness who could confirm this. The mere fact that the testator stated that he wished to amend his will did not justify this conclusion. Furthermore, no new heir was appointed. The OLG ruled that even if the testator did personally cross out the passages, there was still doubt regarding his intent to nullify; this act might only have served as preparation for a new will.

To ensure that testamentary dispositions are actually capable of being implemented in accordance with the wishes of the testator, both the wording as well as any subsequent amendments in a will should always be unambiguous and attributable to the testator.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession/last-will-and-testament.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

BGH on compensation for bribes

BGH on compensation for bribes

BGH on compensation for bribes

Bribes are immoral and justify compensation claims for damages. These can be directed at recipients as well as those who initiated the bribes.

According to sec. 826 of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB), i.e. the German civil code, a person is obligated to pay damages if they deliberately cause harm to another in a way that offends public morality. This also includes agreements involving bribes. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that these kinds of agreements are null and void. In its ruling of January 18, 2018, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court, clarified that such cases give rise to damages claims in relation to not only bribed employees or others who have received payment indirectly but also the business associate initiating the bribe (Az.: I ZR 150/15).

If the plaintiff asserts a claim for damages on account of kickback arrangements made without his knowledge by an authorized representative, then he bears the burden of producing evidence. The BGH stated that this burden of proof is satisfied if the plaintiff can present sufficient evidence pointing to the conclusion of a bribery arrangement. The defendant contesting the kickback arrangement is then subject to the secondary burden of proof, i.e. he needs to demonstrate that there was no such arrangement.

In the instant case, the plaintiff dealt in furniture from Asia. She hired a forwarding company to transport furniture from Asia to Europe that later merged with her firm. The furniture dealer had authorized a since deceased man to take care of the day-to-day administration associated with the forwarding company. In this context, there were increases in the freight costs owed by a certain premium. The furniture dealer neither knew of this arrangement nor did she consent to it. The payments were supposed to ensure that the man in question would continue to take care of freight orders for the plaintiff. The then insolvent furniture dealer later demanded the premiums back.

The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Hamm [Higher Regional Court of Hamm] dismissed the claim, but this ruling was overturned again by the BGH. The latter held that the plaintiff had adduced sufficient evidence indicating a kickback arrangement. The defendant therefore bore the secondary burden of proof, which it satisfied. The defendant not only disputed the kickback arrangement, but also presented a different set of facts. It was said that after gathering evidence the decision was at the discretion of the trial judge. Said judge was found to have not sufficiently assessed all of the circumstances, with the result that the case was referred back to the OLG.

In cases involving bribes or other immoral acts causing harm, lawyers who are experienced in the field of industrial property rights can offer advice.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/business-law/kickback-arrangements.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

If an employer wants to issue notice of dismissal on grounds of suspicion, the circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is almost certain the employee in question committed the relevant offence.

For extraordinary notice of termination of an employment relationship to be effective, there needs to be good cause justifying this course of action. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that suspicion an employee has committed a serious breach of duty can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary dismissal. Having said that, the circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is virtually certain the employee is the perpetrator based on the objective evidence available. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Hamm [Regional Labour Court of Hamm] in its ruling of August 30, 2016 (Az.: 7 TaBV 45/16).

The case that came before the LAG Hamm concerned a particularly distasteful form of bullying. An employee at a senior citizens“ centre discovered a letter of condolence in her mailbox that included the handwritten comment „für Dich (Du bist die nächste)“ [for you (you“re next)]. Upon learning of the incident, the employer attempted to identify the culprit responsible for the letter. To this end, it collected handwriting samples from those employees it considered might be responsible. Based on these handwriting samples, an expert concluded that it was „highly probable“ the letter came from a longstanding employee. Notwithstanding this, the expert pointed out that beyond this there are also the categories of probability „very likely“ „virtually certain“. Despite this, the employer still intended to issue the relevant employee with notice of extraordinary dismissal on grounds of suspicion.

However, neither the works council nor the labour court of first instance approved the employer“s grounds for suspicion. The LAG Hamm upheld the judgment of the court of first instance, ruling that a suspicion has to be strong and supported by concrete evidence; mere speculation does not constitute sufficient grounds for suspicion. The circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is virtually certain that the employee is the perpetrator and other parties can be ruled out. But the Court held that this was not the case here, stating that the assessment „highly probable“ is not enough and not a clear result, especially considering that further enquiries could have been made, e.g. collecting handwriting samples from all employees.

Extraordinary notice of dismissal, particularly on grounds of suspicion, should always be thoroughly prepared. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can offer advice.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

LAG Hamm: Dismissal on grounds of suspicion must comply with strict requirements

If an employer wants to issue notice of dismissal on grounds of suspicion, the circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is almost certain the employee in question committed the relevant offence.

For extraordinary notice of termination of an employment relationship to be effective, there needs to be good cause justifying this course of action. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that suspicion an employee has committed a serious breach of duty can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary dismissal. Having said that, the circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is virtually certain the employee is the perpetrator based on the objective evidence available. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Hamm [Regional Labour Court of Hamm] in its ruling of August 30, 2016 (Az.: 7 TaBV 45/16).

The case that came before the LAG Hamm concerned a particularly distasteful form of bullying. An employee at a senior citizens“ centre discovered a letter of condolence in her mailbox that included the handwritten comment „für Dich (Du bist die nächste)“ [for you (you“re next)]. Upon learning of the incident, the employer attempted to identify the culprit responsible for the letter. To this end, it collected handwriting samples from those employees it considered might be responsible. Based on these handwriting samples, an expert concluded that it was „highly probable“ the letter came from a longstanding employee. Notwithstanding this, the expert pointed out that beyond this there are also the categories of probability „very likely“ „virtually certain“. Despite this, the employer still intended to issue the relevant employee with notice of extraordinary dismissal on grounds of suspicion.

However, neither the works council nor the labour court of first instance approved the employer“s grounds for suspicion. The LAG Hamm upheld the judgment of the court of first instance, ruling that a suspicion has to be strong and supported by concrete evidence; mere speculation does not constitute sufficient grounds for suspicion. The circumstances need to be sufficiently suspicious such that it is virtually certain that the employee is the perpetrator and other parties can be ruled out. But the Court held that this was not the case here, stating that the assessment „highly probable“ is not enough and not a clear result, especially considering that further enquiries could have been made, e.g. collecting handwriting samples from all employees.

Extraordinary notice of dismissal, particularly on grounds of suspicion, should always be thoroughly prepared. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can offer advice.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Report on the distinctiveness of a trade mark

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Report on the distinctiveness of a trade mark

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Report on the distinctiveness of a trade mark

In order to be able to register a company symbol or logo as a trade mark, it needs to have the necessary distinctive character to distinguish it from the products and services of other businesses.

Trade marks are a valuable commodity for businesses. They create a high degree of brand recognition among consumers and distinguish from competitors“ goods and services. Once it has been registered as a trade mark, the company symbol or logo is protected and can then only be used by the trade mark“s proprietor. In general, marks that are capable of distinguishing one“s own goods and services from the products of other providers can be registered as a trade mark. In our experience at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte, trade mark registrations are most likely to fail because attention is not paid to absolute grounds for refusal that preclude registration as a trade mark.

One such absolute ground for refusal is a lack of distinctiveness. A mark“s distinctiveness should place consumers in a position to be able to associate the origin of goods or services with a particular business and distinguish them from other providers“ products. If a mark consists of several elements, the distinctive character must apply to the mark as a whole. The average reasonably well-informed and circumspect consumer cannot be expected to analyze the mark. Purely descriptive information can also constitute an absolute ground for refusal, as there is a public interest against exclusive use in these circumstances. This may be the case, for example, with respect to descriptive terms such as „vegetarian“ or „vegan“.

Another criterium is that the mark be capable of being represented as a graphic. In the case of word marks or figurative marks, this is normally not a problem. That being said, this requirement also applies, for instance, to sound marks. It may, however, be possible for the mark to be represented by the notes in these cases.

Furthermore, any rights associated with existing trade marks cannot be infringed, nor can consumers be misled.

Company symbols or logos that satisfy these requirements can be registered as a trade mark, e.g. as a word mark, figurative mark, sound mark, colour mark, 3D mark or a combination of the above.

We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte have a great deal of experience in the field of trade mark law and can assess whether registering a mark is possible. We can equally be of assistance in enforcing or fending off claims in the event of trade mark violations.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/intellectual-property-law-and-trademark-law/trademark-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Experience drafting valid wills

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Experience drafting valid wills

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Experience drafting valid wills

Anyone who wants their estate to be organized in accordance with their wishes prepares a will. However, there are many pitfalls that can result in the will being ineffective.

If the testator fails to leave behind any testamentary disposition then the rules of intestate succession apply. Those who want their estate to be distributed differently from what the rules of intestate succession allow for should prepare a will or contract of inheritance. Despite this, it is still possible for disputes to emerge among the heirs concerning the validity of the will, which is why one ought to make sure when preparing the testamentary disposition that it is clearly and unambiguously worded to ensure that the final will is actually capable of being implemented in accordance with the wishes of the testator. We at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte have the necessary experience to exclude the possibility of potential mistakes in relation to a will and draw it up in such a way that it is effective.

The will can either be handwritten or drafted by a notary. While the formal requirements pertaining to a handwritten will are not substantial, one ought to nonetheless be mindful of a few basic things. For instance, a will should always have a heading which clearly indicates that this is the testator“s final will. It is also important to include a handwritten signature together with the relevant date and location. Furthermore, the entire text needs to be handwritten by the testator.

The testator can lay out who shall inherit as well as those who will be excluded from the inheritance. Notwithstanding this, any claims to the compulsory portion, e.g. from the spouse or children, have to be taken into account. The circumstances pursuant to which divestiture of the compulsory portion is possible are very limited.

It is possible to make amendments or additions to the will. It must be readily apparent that these stem from the testator. The safer option is to prepare a new will that automatically supersedes the old one. The date should always be specified to avoid disputes regarding which will is valid.

In the case of so-called „Berliner Testaments“ (Berlin wills) or joint spousal wills, on the other hand, making unilateral changes is not as easy because of their provisions“ strong binding effect. This should always be borne in mind in relation to a Berliner Testament.

The wording should always be unambiguous. For example, it is necessary to distinguish between an heir and a legacy. Only the heir becomes the testator“s legal successor with all of the associated rights and obligations.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of succession law can advise on matters pertaining to wills and contracts of inheritance.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession/last-will-and-testament.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Evaluating a trade mark“s distinctiveness

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Evaluating a trade mark“s distinctiveness

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Evaluating a trade mark"s distinctiveness

Before a mark can be registered as a trade mark, it needs to be assessed whether it possesses the necessary distinctiveness vis-à-vis other vendors“ products and services.

Trade marks give rise to a high degree of brand recognition among consumers and are of great value to businesses. It therefore makes sense to have a mark registered with the Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. This will protect the mark from being used by other businesses. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that should trade mark rights be infringed, it is possible to take legal action against this.

Before being registered, it should first be assessed whether the mark actually meets the conditions required for it be registered as a trade mark. To this end, a number of criteria needs to be fulfilled. For instance, the mark needs to possess the necessary distinctiveness vis-à-vis other vendors“ products and services. The mark cannot be registered as a trade mark if it lacks this distinctive character. Moreover, the mark cannot fulfil a merely descriptive function in relation to the goods or services. For this reason, the DPMA checks before a mark is registered whether registration is precluded by a so-called absolute ground for refusal.

However, it is worth noting that it is not assessed whether another mark with the same or at least a similar form has already been registered, which is why it ought to be looked into prior to commencing registration whether registration would infringe the rights of an existing trade mark. The proprietor of the older trade mark is then able to object to the registration, with this potentially giving rise to formal warnings, injunction suits or claims for damages.

That is why it should always first be assessed whether there is an absolute ground for refusal precluding the mark“s registration as a trade mark and whether existing trade mark rights would be infringed. If this is not the case, marks consisting of words, numbers, colours or images can be registered as trade marks provided that they fulfil the necessary requirements. The same applies to auditory/sound marks.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of intellectual property law can serve as competent advisors when it comes to registering and protecting a trade mark as well as asserting claims in response to trade mark violations.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/intellectual-property-law-and-trademark-law/trademark-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

LAG Rheinland-Pfalz: Employee needs to have good cause for termination with immediate effect

LAG Rheinland-Pfalz: Employee needs to have good cause for termination with immediate effect

LAG Rheinland-Pfalz: Employee needs to have good cause for termination with immediate effect

For termination of an employment relationship with immediate effect to be effective, there needs to be good cause. This is true whether notice of dismissal is issued by the employer or the employee.

Exceptional notice terminating an employment relationship with immediate effect is only possible if there is good cause. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that the grounds need to be of such significance that it would not be reasonable to expect the contractual partner to continue the employment relationship even until the end of the notice period. This principle applies to both contractual parties, i.e. both the employer as well as the employee.

The fact that an employer does not have to accept an employee“s notice of termination with immediate effect is demonstrated by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Rheinland-Pfalz [Regional Labour Court of Rhineland-Palatinate] from April 19, 2017 (Az.: 4 Sa 307/16). In the instant case, a trainee had given notice of termination with immediate effect and wished to continue his training at another establishment. His request prior to this to have his training contract rescinded had been rejected by the employer.

The trainee justified the notice of termination with immediate effect by arguing that he had repeatedly received negative comments from his tutor in relation to his work and that he had been bullied. It was claimed that comments such as „stell Dich nicht dümmer als Du bist“ (don“t act more stupid than you are) were made. The employer was said to have been informed of this. Neither the respective labour court nor the LAG Rheinland-Pfalz considered this as constituting good cause justifying termination with immediate effect.

The LAG held that blanked statements are not enough; notice of termination with immediate effect must be made in writing and specify the grounds for termination. It went on to say that the grounds need to be precise and not expressed generally or as slogans. The Court ruled that while statements such as „stell Dich nicht dümmer als Du bist“ are neither desirable nor beneficial, they do not amount to insults. As such, they ought to have been tolerated by the trainee and there was thus a lack of good cause.

Moreover, the employee should have issued a formal written warning prior to notice of dismissal so that the employer had the opportunity to put a stop to these disruptions to the employment relationship.

Termination of an employment relationship is a common source of contention. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can advise on all of the relevant legal aspects.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en