The German Act against Unfair Competition can give supplementary protection in cases where no specific (particularly registered) intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks or designs, exist.
While, in principle, an imitation of competitors’ products or activities is permissible in the absence of such intellectual property rights, there are limits to what kind of behaviour is considered fair or acceptable.
Such limits are overstepped in case, in addition to legitimate rights to imitate, sufficient additional elements of unfair competition come into play. German practice in effect provides strong tools against product imitation (independently from potentially existing registered intellectual property rights) in case for example deception of origin or exploitation of reputation can be argued. In addition, the Act against Unfair Competition provides means of defence against overly aggressive commercial behaviour of competitors.
Claims based on the Act against Unfair Competition can also be pursued within the context of preliminary injunctions, which offer a highly effective and rapid means of defence against acts of unfair competition.
For any matters in cases of Unfair Competition we collaborate with highly qualified attorneys at law for representation before the German Civil Courts.