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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 2 May 2016

Embedding illegal content unlawful according to Federal Court of Justice

The Federal Court of Justice recently decided on a question regarding the legitimacy of framing video content. The court decided that linking to a website (via embedding) that publishes a video without authorisation from the copyright holder addresses a new public and must therefore be considered copyright infringement. However, the ruling may not stand for long.
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 12 Oct 2015

Apple's 'slide-to-unlock' patent invalidated in Germany

The Federal Court of Justice recently affirmed the Federal Patent Court's 2013 decision to declare Apple's notorious 'slide-to-unlock' patent invalid. The ruling is unsurprising, and its practical impact on Apple's business will probably be minor. However, the decision is a further step towards legal certainty regarding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions.
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 9 Mar 2015

Liability of managing director for copyright infringement

The Cologne Higher Regional Court recently ruled that the managing director of a German limited liability company was personally liable for copyright infringement by the company. The court stated that the managing director was responsible because of a cease-and-desist declaration which he had signed himself.
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 1 Dec 2014

Patents and linguistic subtleties – what does 'unitary' mean?

The Supreme Court in Civil Matters recently decided on a patent claim interpretation, showing that the German courts tend to be patentee friendly. The court found that the Federal Patent Court had misinterpreted the patent and had interpreted the main claim too narrowly. However, this claim interpretation was not binding for the interpretation of the same claim in the infringement suit, as......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 28 Jul 2014

Liability of commercial WLAN operators for users' copyright infringement

The Hamburg District Court recently ruled that under certain conditions commercial wireless local area network (WLAN) operators in hotels cannot be held liable for their guests using the WLAN connection to upload movies illegally. The court found that it was unnecessary to block certain ports, as it seemed unreasonable to demand actions which carry a risk that access to legal services might......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 24 Mar 2014

Trademarks versus health claims – Milupa prevails against Hipp

According to a recent Federal Supreme Court decision, trademarks can be health claims under the EU Regulation on Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods. Hipp sold products containing a prebiotic and probiotic and used the trademarks PRAEBIOTIK and PROBIOTIK on the label. According to the court, the label's health claim was not permissible as it had not been part of a previous application......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 20 Jan 2014

Court rules on illegal download of Russian-language version of movie

The Cologne Higher Regional Court recently ruled that the rights holder of the German-language version of a movie had no rights regarding the Russian-language version of that movie in Germany. The court argued that the plaintiff should have ensured that the licence agreement specified that the licensor was not allowed to exploit any language versions other than those licensed to the......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 13 Jan 2014

Copyright protection for products strengthened

The Supreme Court for Civil Matters recently changed its jurisprudence on the level of originality required for works in the field of applied arts. It ruled that the same (comparatively low) level of originality required for the fine arts shall apply. In the past, the court had held that a much higher level of originality was required for works in the applied arts to be eligible for copyright......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 23 Sep 2013

Freckles on her nose - Pippi Longstocking at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently denied copyright protection for the advertisement of a Pippi Longstocking costume because only parts of the external appearance of that figure were adopted. The court found that even though this was sufficient to arouse associations with the literary figure, it could not constitute copyright infringement because Pippi Longstocking contained more than just her......
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Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB | Germany | 2 Sep 2013

The truth will out – right to inspection in case of trade secret misappropriation

A recent Hamm Higher Regional Court decision is the first published ruling in which a higher regional court has confirmed the possibility to obtain an order granting a right to inspection in a case of trade secret misappropriation. In the past, plaintiffs have had to rely on academic literature when making applications for such orders.
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