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Antitrust Law

Antitrust law often plays a major role for us, coming as it does at the interface with patent law. Some cases setting precedents originated from our law firm. We set other signals in fighting against walling-off markets vis-à-vis internet trading.

Antitrust Law

Fachhandelsvereinbarung Sanitär (sanitary goods retail trade agreement) – Court of Appeal Duesseldorf 2014 NZKart 68
Germany’s most important higher regional antitrust court senate awarded the plaintiff damages in the millions for having been obstructed by a sanitary manufacturer in violation of antitrust law. The decision answers a number of fundamental questions in connection with the assessment of contract clauses under antitrust law, which are specifically directed against online trading. It also extends responsibility for antitrust violations to the management of a company for the first time. The Federal Supreme Court did not accept the appeal against the decision.

Fachhandelsvereinbarung (specialist trade agreement) – BKartA case report of 13.12.2011
In this case report, the Federal Cartel Office explains that strategies for obstructing internet trading are highly problematic under cartel law and may violate Art. 101 para. 1 TFEU and GWB (Law on Unfair Competition) section 1. The observations by the Federal Cartel Office have attracted attention throughout Europe beyond the sanitary appliances industry which is directly affected.

Standard-Spundfass (Standard-Bung Barrel) – BGH 2004 GRUR 966
In this decision, the Federal Supreme Court for the first time established an entitlement to a compulsory license outside the scope of the exceptional provision of Section 24 of the German Patent Act. The ruling is particularly important in cases in which the teaching of a patent has been reflected in an industrial standard.

Polyferon (Polyferon / Compulsory License) – BGH 1996 GRUR 190 = 1997 IIC 242
This was the German Federal Supreme Court‘s first, and for a long time only, decision on the subject of compulsory licenses according to Section 24 of the Patent Act.