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Politics Law Society

Illegal advertisement of effect of a medicinal product

Illegal advertisement of effect of a medicinal product

Illegal advertisement of effect of a medicinal product

It is illegal to advertise a specific effect attributed to a medicinal product if said effect is based merely on laboratory tests and has not been demonstrated in relation to humans.

The effect a medicinal product has on humans is, of course, critical information for consumers. That is why advertising statements regarding a specific effect of a product are deemed to be misleading if said effect is based merely on laboratory tests and has not been demonstrated in relation to humans. In these circumstances, no clinical relevance can be said to have been demonstrated with respect to humans. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this kind of misleading advertising is in breach of competition law.

This view was upheld by the Landgericht (LG) Frankfurt a.M., the Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main, in a ruling from August 17, 2018 (Az.: 3-10 O 22/18). In the instant case, a pharmaceutical company had promoted a cough syrup with the term „antiviral“, as well as with reference to antiviral properties having been demonstrated in a laboratory environment. An organization for the enforcement of competition law and against unfair competition filed injunction suits in response to this advertisement, claiming that it violated competition law. It argued that consumers would assume from the advertising statements that the medication or remedy has an antiviral effect. This meant that its application was being promoted for a field with respect to which it had not been approved.

The Landgericht Frankfurt ruled that the cough syrup manufacturer was in violation of the Heilmittelwerbegesetz (HWG), the German law on the advertising of medicinal products, according to which it is illegal to advertise medicinal products if the medication or remedy requires authorization but has not been authorized, or if the advertisement features applications that are not covered by the authorization. The LG Frankfurt took the view that the latter scenario applied to this case. It held that no clinical relevance had been demonstrated with respect to humans because the antiviral properties had only been established in a laboratory environment. Thus, the statements regarding the relevant effect had not been confirmed in relation to humans and the medicine or remedy“s application was being promoted for a field with respect to which it had not been approved. For this reason, the LG Frankfurt concluded that a violation of the HWG had occurred.

Given the ever-present possibility of violating competition law, advertising is often akin to tightrope walking for businesses. This is particularly true insofar as advertising and statements relate to medicinal products. Lawyers with experience in the field of competition law can offer advice as well as enforce or fend off claims arising from violations of competition law.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 – A „Praxisklinik“ must maintain the option of admitting inpatients

BGH – A „Praxisklinik“ must maintain the option of admitting inpatients

BGH - A "Praxisklinik" must maintain the option of admitting inpatients

A medical practice cannot advertise using the term „Praxisklinik“ („clinic“ in English) if it does not provide overnight accommodation. That was the view upheld by the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) in a ruling from October 17, 2018 (Az.: I ZR 58/18).

The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Hamm, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, had already concluded in a judgment from February 27 of 2018 that a dental practice which will not admit its patients as inpatients even temporarily cannot advertise using the term „Praxisklinik“. In doing so, it overturned the ruling at first instance of the Landgericht Essen, the Regional Court of Essen (Az.: 4 U 161/17). We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this kind of advertising is misleading to consumers, because the term „Klinik“ gives rise to the expectation among consumers that there is at least the possibility of being admitted as an inpatient.

The dentist in the case in question nonetheless took the view that when confronted with the term „Klinik“, consumers expectations extend merely to the possibility of undergoing a surgical procedure. Given that this description applies to his practice, he brought a complaint against the decision to refuse leave to appeal. The complaint has since been dismissed by the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court.

The Bundesgerichtshof did not follow the dentist“s line of reasoning and instead upheld the OLG Hamm“s view that consumers expect from a „Klinik“ at least the facilities necessary for temporary inpatient admission overnight. It held that this is true even if inpatient admission only becomes necessary in exceptional circumstances. For this reason, the advertising was found to be misleading to consumers insofar as this service was not provided.

The Court went on to state, however, that the term „Praxisklinik“ is not only misleading to consumers but also harmful to competitors, since appearing to provide for inpatient admission as an additional service allows the dental practice to present itself as a preferable alternative to a dental practice that solely provides outpatient services as well as an alternative worth considering to a „Zahnklinik“ (dental clinic) in the proper meaning of the word.

As important as advertising is for many businesses and service providers, it is equally important to bear in mind how easy it is to mislead consumers and violate competition law. Violations of competition law can give rise to various sanctions, including formal warnings, injunction suits and damages claims. Lawyers with experience in the field of competition law can offer advice and assist in enforcing or fending off claims arising from violations of competition law.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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

CJEU – The taste of a food product is not eligible for copyright protection

CJEU – The taste of a food product is not eligible for copyright protection

CJEU - The taste of a food product is not eligible for copyright protection

The taste of a food product is not eligible for copyright protection. That was the verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in a ruling from November 13, 2018 (Az.: C-310/17).

Intellectual creations and expressions can be classified as a „work“ and protected by copyright. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note, however, that according to this ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union the taste of a food product cannot be classified as a work and consequently is not eligible for copyright protection.

The case before the CJEU involved a dispute between two cheese producers. A Dutch company with the rights to a particular spreadable cheese took the view that a similar-tasting cheese from a supermarket chain infringed its copyright in the taste of its cheese, claiming that the taste of the spreadable cheese constitutes a work protected by copyright and that the cheese belonging to the supermarket chain is a reproduction of that work.

The CJEU did not follow this line of reasoning, ruling instead that in order to be protected by copyright, the taste of a food product must be capable of being classified as a work. Classification as a work requires that the subject matter concerned is an original intellectual creation. Copyright protection may be granted to expressions, but not to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts. Accordingly, a work needs to be expressed in a manner which makes it identifiable with sufficient precision and objectivity. The CJEU held that the taste of a food product cannot be identified with precision and objectivity.

The Court went on to state that unlike pictorial, literary, musical or cinematographic works that have a precise and objective expression, the taste of a food product is subjective. This subjective experience is variable and depends on, among other things, factors particular to the individual tasting the product in question, such as their age, preferences, etc. The Court also held that it is not possible in the current state of scientific development to achieve by technical means a precise and objective identification of the taste of a food product. The CJEU therefore concluded that the taste of a food product is not eligible for copyright protection.

Even though the taste of a food product cannot be protected by copyright, it may be possible to extend copyright protection to the product itself. Lawyers with experience in the field of IP law can advise on matters pertaining to copyright and trademark law.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 rules on protection of a three-dimensional trademark

BGH rules on protection of a three-dimensional trademark

BGH rules on protection of a three-dimensional trademark

Three-dimensional signs cannot be registered as a trademark if they consist of a shape that is necessary in order to obtain a technical result.

When registering a sign as a trademark, businesses need to be aware that there are various possible grounds for refusal of trademark protection. One such ground for refusal may be the shape in the case of three-dimensional trademarks. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that trademark law stipulates there can be no trademark protection afforded to signs consisting of a shape that is necessary to obtain a technical result.

The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court, will deliver a ruling on February 14, 2019 (reference: I ZB 114/17) on whether the shape of certain coffee capsules can be protected. The case has an extensive history. The proprietor of the trademark sells coffee capsules with a particular shape and had applied for trademark protection for „Kaffee, Kaffeeextrakte und kaffeebasierte Zubereitungen, Kaffeeersatz und künstliche Kaffeeextrakte“, i.e. coffee, coffee extracts and coffee-based preparations, coffee substitutes and artificial coffee extracts. The proprietor also owned a patent that has since lapsed for a cartridge containing ground coffee designed for a drinks machine.

In response to a claim brought by a competitor, the Bundespatentgericht, Germany“s Federal Patent Court, suspended the international trademark“s protection in relation to Germany in a ruling from November 17, 2017 (Az.: 25 W (pat) 112/14). Trademark protection was suspended to the extent that coffee, coffee extracts and coffee-based preparations, coffee substitutes and artificial coffee extracts are concerned. The Bundespatentgericht justified this decision with reference to there being grounds for refusal pursuant to sec. 3 para. 2 no. 2 of the Markengesetz, the German Trademark Act. The essential characteristics of the mark in question were said to have a technical function that make it well suited for use in a coffee capsule machine. However, it was also stated that the Markengesetz is meant to prevent trademark proprietors from monopolizing technical solutions. The proprietor of the trademark has filed a legal appeal against the Bundespatentgericht“s judgment. The BGH must now rule on the matter.

Trademark protection is of great importance to businesses. When applying for registration, it is a good idea to ensure that this will not infringe existing trademark rights and that there are no grounds for refusal of registration. Lawyers with experience in the field of trademark law can offer advice.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 finds false statements about product category misleading

BGH finds false statements about product category misleading

BGH finds false statements about product category misleading

Consumers must not be misled regarding the essential characteristics of a product. According to the case law of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court, the allocation of a product to a product category represents one of its essential characteristics.

Germany“s Unfair Competition Act, the Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG), provides that consumers must not be misled regarding the essential characteristics of a product or service. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that examples of essential characteristics include the availability, benefits, risks, composition or properties associated with the product or service in question. In a ruling from June 21, 2018, the Bundesgerichtshof held that if a product belongs to a product category, this represents one of its essential characteristics if it serves to differentiate the product from other categories (Az.: I ZR 157/16).

The instant case concerned an engine oil that was referred to as „vollsynthetisch“, i.e. fully synthetic. Fully synthetic engine oils are generally located in the upper price segment because they are more expensive to produce than other oils. The plaintiff asserted that the use of the term „vollsynthetisch“ in relation to the defendant“s engine oil was misleading, arguing that it did not satisfy the conditions required for it to be deemed a fully synthetic engine oil.

The Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Köln, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, had granted the claim and prohibited the defendant from continuing to refer to the engine oil in question as fully synthetic for competition purposes. It held that the average consumer is entitled to expect an engine oil advertised as fully synthetic to be in line with products with this term in their name that have been available to date, since this is what informs consumers understanding of what a fully synthetic engine oil is. The OLG Köln went on to state that if the oil is obtained via another production process, it is misleading to then promote the relevant oil as „vollsynthetisch“, a term that is already established in the market.

The BGH upheld this view, ruling that the term was misleading because it gave consumers a false impression. When assessing whether it was misleading, the Court noted that it was not the specific properties of the product that were decisive but rather consumers“ expectation that fully synthetic oils belong to a product category of artificially produced oils that are located in the upper price segment and of high quality due to the complex production process involved. The Court concluded that it is therefore misleading if the oil is in fact obtained via another production process

Violations of competition law can be met with severe penalties. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of competition law can offer advice and assist in fending off or enforcing claims arising from violations of this kind.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 insolvency and liability of managing directors

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Report on insolvency and liability of managing directors

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Report on insolvency and liability of managing directors

A managing director“s obligations include filing for insolvency on behalf of the company in a timely manner. He or she may be held personally liable for failing to fulfil this obligation.

Managing directors who fail to fulfil their obligations may be held personally liable as a result. A managing director“s obligations include filing for insolvency in due time if the company is insolvent or over-indebted. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte can report that it is often difficult to accept the onset of a company“s insolvency. In many cases, there is also frequently a lack of clarity surrounding the latest point in time by when one needs to have filed for insolvency.

We at GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that it is necessary to file for insolvency without undue delay, but no later than three weeks after the company becomes insolvent or over-indebted. A company is deemed to be over-indebted if its assets no longer cover its existing liabilities. Moreover, there is a presumption of insolvency if the company is no longer able to settle the bulk of its liabilities. While this means that the company is to some extent still in a position to make payments, it also represents a risk to managing directors; payments can only continue to be made insofar as they do not diminish the insolvency estate.

During difficult economic times, companies understandably want to continue paying wages to their employees for as long as possible, but they would do well to proceed with caution. Following the onset of insolvency, further payments are only allowed if the consideration in return for the payment offsets the reduction in the value of the insolvency estate. In ruling from July 4, 2017, the Bundesgerichtshof, Germany“s Federal Supreme Court, held that the consideration intended to form part of the insolvency estate needs to be capable of being used by the creditors (Az.: II ZR 319/15). The Court went on to note, however, that services and wages are generally not suitable for this purpose. This means that if in these kinds of cases the managing director nevertheless arranges for the payment of service providers or the remittance of wages and salaries, he or she may be personally liable to make restitution.

Due to the substantial risk of personally liability they face, it is imperative that managing directors do not ignore the signs of imminent insolvency but instead proceed with caution. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of company law can offer professional advice in these kinds of crisis situations.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/company-law/restructuring-insolvency.html

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 commercial agents“ right to claim compensation

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Report on commercial agents“ right to claim compensation

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Report on commercial agents" right to claim compensation

Commercial agents are entitled to claim compensation. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has since clarified that this right persists even if the commercial agency agreement is terminated during the probationary period.

Commercial agents are entitled to claim compensation pursuant to paragraph 89b of the Handelsgesetzbuch (HGB), Germany“s Commercial Code, if the commercial agency agreement is terminated. Because the company frequently continues to profit from the contacts established by the commercial agent and maintain business relations with these clients after the agreement has come to an end, the intention behind this entitlement is to enable agents to benefit from these business dealings as well. The right to claim compensation cannot simply be excluded. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte can equally report, however, that this same right has also given rise to legal disputes time and time again.

There are certainly circumstances under which the right to claim compensation can lapse. This can happen if, for instance, the commercial agent is the one who terminates the agreement or misconduct on his or her part resulted in the agreement being terminated. One factor that does not affect the right to claim compensation, on the other hand, is the duration of the contractual relationship or whether the commercial agent is still on employment probation. That was the verdict of the European Court of Justice in a judgment from April 19, 2018 (Az.: C-645/16).

In the instant case, the commercial agency agreement provided for, among other things, a twelve-month probation period. During this period of time, both parties were entitled to terminate the agreement subject to a specified notice period. After the commercial agent clearly failed to meet the company“s expectations as well as the agreed targets, the latter decided to avail itself of this right of termination. The commercial agent subsequently asserted their right to claim compensation. The company took the view that this right does not arise in the event of the agreement being terminated during the probationary period.

The dispute made it all the way to the ECJ, which ruled in favor of the commercial agent. A commercial agent“s rights to compensation are regulated in an EU regulation. The ECJ held that the rights to compensation and damages provided for under this regulation are meant to indemnify the commercial agent for the services performed by him or her from which the company continues to benefit from or for the costs and expenses he or she incurred. The Court went on to state that this entitlement cannot be dismissed on the basis that the agreement was terminated during the probationary period.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of commercial law can serve as expert advisors to companies and commercial agents alike.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 dealing with abuses of a dominant market position and violations of antitrust law

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte – Experience dealing with abuses of a dominant market position and violations of antitrust law

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte - Experience dealing with abuses of a dominant market position and violations of antitrust law

Abuse of a dominant market position or superior market power constitutes a violation of antitrust law and can be sanctioned accordingly.

In a judgment from January 23, 2018 on the so-called „Anzapfverbot“, i.e. the prohibition on demanding unjustified benefits from suppliers, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany“s Federal Supreme Court, further tightened the rules regarding abuse of a dominant market position (Az.: KVR 37/17). According to the Karlsruhe judges“ ruling, if the business occupying a dominant market position asks a contractual partner to grant it advantages in the absence of an objective justification for these advantages, this is enough to give rise to a presumption of a violation of antitrust law. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that the judgment illustrates the need for experience when two or more parties are negotiating terms to avoid overstepping the boundaries for violating either competition or antitrust law.

In the instant case, the business in question had gone too far with its demands and abused its dominant market position and superior market power by demanding more favorable terms from its suppliers in the form of discounts and benefits. The BGH deemed this a violation of antitrust law due to the absence of any kind of consideration or objective justification.

Following the BGH“s ruling, suppliers are now better protected in the event of businesses in a dominant market position exerting pressure on them with the intention of more or less forcing them to agree to different terms. While the Court“s decision does not mean that negotiations are no longer permitted as a means of achieving the best possible outcome for one“s company, the ruling does necessitate care and sensitivity as well as an objective justification in order to remain within the confines of the law.

According to the Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB), Germany“s Act Against Restraints of Competition, a business is considered to be in a dominant market position if it has no competitors or holds a paramount market position, with the result that the business is not exposed to any substantial competition. A business is deemed to have abused this kind of market power if it asks its contractual partners to grant it advantages without an objective justification for doing so.

Lawyers who are experienced in the fields of antitrust and competition law can advise businesses and enforce or fend off claims in the event of violations of antitrust or competition law.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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 Frankfurt – Misleading advertising by carrying over likes and reviews

OLG Frankfurt – Misleading advertising by carrying over likes and reviews

OLG Frankfurt - Misleading advertising by carrying over likes and reviews

Franchisees need to be careful. If they change their franchise partner, they cannot simply carry over the likes and stars they have accumulated to the new company.

Many businesses nowadays choose to present themselves online, including on social networks. Any positive reviews in the form of likes or stars that they accumulate naturally have a positive advertising effect. Franchisees need to be careful nonetheless. They cannot simply carry over the reviews they have accumulated online to the new company if they change their franchise partner. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that doing so could violate the Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG), Germany“s Unfair Competition Act, and thus competition law.

In a ruling from June 14, 2018, the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, found carrying over online reviews in a case involving a change of company to be misleading and therefore constituted a violation of competition law (Az.: 6 U 23/17).

In the case in question, the defendant was a franchisee running several restaurants as part of a chain. Facebook users were able to review and like the restaurants on the company“s Facebook page. When the defendant changed its franchise partner, it carried over the reviews to the new company and got more than it had bargained for in the form of an injunction suit. The OLG Frankfurt upheld the judgment of the court of lower instance as well as the plaintiff“s injunction suit.

The OLG noted that the parties are and were in practice in a competitive relationship, ruling that the defendant had violated the UWG by publishing reviews and likes on its Facebook pages for the restaurants of its new partner despite these having been written and given in relation to the original partner“s restaurants.

The OLG Frankfurt went on to say that this kind of advertising is misleading to consumers because it gives the target audience the impression that the reviews were written in reference to the restaurants of the new partner, which was not in fact the case. The fact that the defendant personally created the relevant Facebook pages was said not to preclude the finding that the advertising was misleading; the risk of misleading the public could have been easily eliminated by creating a new Facebook page.

Misleading advertising as well as other violations of competition law can be met with sanctions, including formal warnings and injunction suits. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of competition law can advise on enforcing and fending off claims.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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

BFH – Claim for transfer of ownership in family home not exempt from inheritance tax

BFH – Claim for transfer of ownership in family home not exempt from inheritance tax

BFH - Claim for transfer of ownership in family home not exempt from inheritance tax

A ruling of the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH), Germany“s Federal Fiscal Court, illustrates the distinction made for the purposes of inheritance tax between a family home and the claim to transfer ownership in a family home (Az.: II R 14/16).

A family home can be inherited tax free, irrespective of its value, if the inheriting spouse or partner continues to occupy the home for an additional ten years. Children can also benefit from this exemption from inheritance, albeit with restrictions. However, there lurks a trap in German tax law if it is merely the right to transfer ownership in a family home and not the family home itself that is handed down. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that under these circumstances the case law of the BFH confers no right to exemption from inheritance tax.

In a judgment from November 29, 2017, the Bundesfinanzhof ruled that a claim backed by a priority notice of conveyance to transfer ownership in a family home acquired by the surviving spouse by virtue of the deceased“s passing is not exempt from inheritance tax. It held that tax exemption requires that the deceased spouse have been owner or co-owner of the family home and that the heir acquires these ownership rights due to the former“s death.

This did not happen in the instant case. The testatrix had acquired a condominium and four underground parking spaces for about 4.5 million euros in 2007. A priority notice of conveyance was registered in the land register in her favor. In December of 2008, the married couple moved into the property. The testatrix had set out in a will that the condominium was to go to her husband alone and that the remaining assets were to be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession. At the time of her death, the testatrix had not yet been registered in the land register as the owner of the property.

After the death of his wife, the husband had himself registered in the land register as the owner in February of 2010 and continued without interruption to use the property as a private residence. In his inheritance tax declaration, he applied for an exemption from inheritance tax for the acquisition of the house. The tax office rejected the application and the man“s legal action was also unsuccessful. The BFH stressed that a claim backed by a priority notice of conveyance to transfer ownership in a family home acquired by reason of death is not exempt from inheritance tax.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of tax law can advise on matters pertaining to inheritance tax.

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

GRP Rainer www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international full service law firm. The lawyers counsel on corporate and commercial law, business law, tax law, IT law and IP law and distribution law. The law firm advises international companies, corporations, mid-sized businesses and private clients worldwide. GRP Rainer can be found in Berlin Bonn Cologne Duesseldorf Frankfurt Hamburg Munich Stuttgart, Germany 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