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Recent News From GRP Rainer LLP

  • EGC upholds declaration of invalidity with respect to a design

    EGC upholds declaration of invalidity with respect to a design

    Published: 07 Sep 2018

    In a ruling from March 14, 2018, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) upheld a declaration of invalidity with respect to a design. The reason: the design had already been made publicly available before its registration.  A design encapsulates a product’s appearance; its shape, its pattern, its colour. Registering a design serves to protect the design itself as well as the work put ...

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  • BGH on managing directors’ liability for competition violations

    BGH on managing directors’ liability for competition violations

    Published: 04 Sep 2018

    Managing directors may be liable for their company’s violations of competition law. Having said that, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Supreme Court, has severely limited managing directors’ liability (Az.: I ZR 242/12). Under earlier case law, the liability of managing directors in the event of competition violations was interpreted more broadly. Liability was a serious prospect e...

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  • BSG on mandatory social security contributions for managing directors

    BSG on mandatory social security contributions for managing directors

    Published: 31 Aug 2018

    Mandatory social security contributions for managing directors are a controversial subject. The Bundessozialgericht (BSG), Germany’s federal supreme court in relation to social security matters, recently ruled that managing directors shall, as a rule, be deemed to be employees of a GmbH. The issue of mandatory social security contributions for managing directors can sometimes give rise to signif...

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  • BGH – Misleading eye-catching advertising and significant purchasing decisions

    BGH – Misleading eye-catching advertising and significant purchasing decisions

    Published: 28 Aug 2018

    An attention-grabbing or eye-catching advertisement needs to include a clear reference to correct possible erroneous preconceptions. According to the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Supreme Court, this is also true for economically significant purchases. If an attention-grabbing or eye-catching advertisement is liable to mislead consumers, this needs to be cleared up with a clear refe...

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  • BFH – Withdrawal of a partner with neutral impact on profits

    BFH – Withdrawal of a partner with neutral impact on profits

    Published: 24 Aug 2018

    In its rulings from May 16 and 30, 2017, the Bundesfinanzhof (BFH), Germany’s Federal Fiscal Court, has made it easier for a partner to withdraw from a partnership (Az.: IV R 31/14 and IV R 11/15). In the view of the Bundesfinanzministerium, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance, the withdrawal of a partner need only have a neutral impact on profits if the withdrawing partner receives an operati...

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  • Improper extension of a discount campaign

    Improper extension of a discount campaign

    Published: 21 Aug 2018

    Caution is advised when extending a fixed-term discount campaign. Extending the campaign may constitute misleading advertising and thus a violation of competition law. There are good reasons for extending a fixed-term discount campaign. However, we at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this is only legal under certain circumstances. If the campaign is extended due to...

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  • Competition law – The term “Praxisklinik” does not entail inpatient treatment

    Competition law – The term “Praxisklinik” does not entail inpatient treatment

    Published: 17 Aug 2018

    A dentist is allowed to promote his or her homepage with the term “Praxisklinik”, i.e. “(practice) clinic”, even if they do not admit patients for extended periods of time as inpatients. That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Essen, the Regional Court of Essen. The following facts and circumstances informed the LG Essen’s judgment from November 8, 2017 (Az.: 44 O 21/17): A dentist had made...

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  • LAG Hamm – Prohibited surveillance in the workplace

    LAG Hamm – Prohibited surveillance in the workplace

    Published: 13 Aug 2018

    Monitoring employees using video surveillance is only permitted within narrow boundaries. Illegal recordings cannot therefore be used as evidence in the context of workplace legal disputes. There are justifiable reasons for monitoring the workplace using video cameras. Particularly in areas which are accessible to the public such as storefronts, video cameras are a common sight. However, this ne...

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