At a glance: Higher Regional Court Frankfurt a.M. rules on international competence of German courts for adverts on the Internet (Decision 6 U 3/18 of 14 February 2019)

On 14 February 2019, the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt a.M. ruled that German courts have an international competence for adverts on the Internet in particular, if those adverts are provided on a “.de”-top-level-domain and if the web presence does not contain indications that the offer is not directed to German customers.

The Court also clarified that the use of English language is no such indication considered alone. In addition, the Court also established further rules regarding the assessment of misleading advertising (§ 5 of the German Act against Unfair Competition, UWG). In particular, the judges found it misleading to use the expression “World’s Lightest” in connection to luggage, if the respective pieces of luggage are in fact not the lightest in the world, compared to those of other producers. This is also applicable if the indication “World’s Lightest” is used as an eye-catcher on a fair stand on which several different pieces of luggage are presented.

Furthermore, such trade fair advertising is misleading according to German competition law, if the exhibition is an international trade fair directed to an expert audience and the respective exhibitor does not even deliver to Germany, but the German visitor of the fair is able to obtain the respective products abroad.

For more information, please find the full decision in German here: