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Decision of the Federal Supreme Court of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof) 15 October 2020 – Case No. I ZR 210/18

  1. 1.

    Deception regarding a supplier’s identity that does not cause a misconception about the origin within the trade mark proprietor’s business of a product advertised using the mark lies outside the scope of protection of the trade-mark’s origin-indicating function.

  2. 2.

    The fact that a certain brand manufacturer is among the vendors represented on an online marketplace can represent a main characteristic of this service offer within the meaning of Sec. 5(1) second sentence, second case, No. 1 of the Act against Unfair Competition.

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Official headnotes. Translated from the German by Allison Felmy.

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Trade Mark Act, Sec. 14(2), first sentence, Nos. 1, 2 and 3; Act against Unfair Competition, Sec. 5(1), first and second sentence, No. 1; Code of Civil Procedure, Sec. 253(2), No. 2. “Vorwerk”. IIC 52, 952–966 (2021).

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  • Misconception about origin
  • Supplier’s identity deception
  • Scope of protection
  • Origin-indicating function
  • Online marketplace
  • Amazon
  • Main characteristic of a service offer
  • Unfair competition