GRP Rainer LLP

Advertising with Third-Party Brand Names Not Allowed - Trademark Law

A trademark owner can enforce injunctive relief if a business uses a third-party trademark as part of its own advertising.


Cologne, Germany -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/21/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London conclude: In its judgment of March 21, 2013 (Az. 6 U 170/12), the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Frankfurt granted a trademark owner injunctive relief against a shop proprietor who was using a third-party trademark as part of its own advertising.

The decision was based on the circumstances of the case, whereby the defendant advertised his goods with billboards upon which the claimant’s brand name was found. The OLG Frankfurt took the view there was a danger for the trademark owner that potential customers erroneously assumed the retailer and the trademark owner had a contractual relationship with each other.

The claimant considered the use of its brand name by the shop proprietor in its own advertising to be an infringement thereof. Prior to this, the claimant had distributed its products via exclusive partners. It wanted to counteract damage to the reputation it had acquired through exclusive distribution.

The claimant’s position was confirmed by the judgment of the OLG Frankfurt. Notably, the fact that other brands appeared on the board or a reference in the display window to there being no existing relationship between the parties could not have given rise to a different judgment. The risk of customers being misled would thus only be countered if the consumer were also able to notice this when taking into account the trademark.

Trademarks have become an integral part of our daily lives. They serve, in particular, to identify products and services. A specific performance and quality of products is associated with certain trademarks. They can represent a considerable asset value for businesses. Trademarks should therefore be protected by registration in order to ensure the best possible protection for them. By registering trademarks, the owner is afforded protection against their use by third parties.

It is particularly with a view to rapid globalisation that one should take the necessary measures in good time. A lawyer active in the field of trademark law can work out comprehensive solution with respect to providing optimal protection of your trademarks.

Where an existing trademark is infringed, action should be taken as quickly as possible against this in order to avoid forfeiting possible damages claims and enforce injunctive relief.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP 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, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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