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Category Archives: Unfair Competition

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Investing in China’s TMT sector: What you need to know

China is a market that represents a paradox for many telecoms, media and technology (“TMT“) companies. On the one hand it offers the promise of almost unlimited growth potential if you get the product right, but on the other it presents huge challenges from the regulatory and compliance perspective in terms of establishing a foothold

Germany: Allowing a competitor to implement a characteristic product feature risks loss of its function as an indication of origin

Higher Regional Court Frankfurt am Main “Exzenterzähne II” (“Eccentric Teeth II”) The Higher Regional Court Frankfurt am Main ruled that the unique selling point (USP) or “individual character” of a product that serves as an indication of origin may lose that function if the manufacturer of the original product has previously allowed a competitor to

Lightning fast IP reform in China: Trademark Law and Anti-Unfair Competition Law amended

On 23 April 2019, both China’s Trademark Law (“TML“) and its Anti-Unfair Competition Law (“AUCL“) were amended.  The amendments to the TML are aimed at curbing bad faith trademarks and increasing damages for infringement, while the changes to the AUCL are aimed at improving the protection for trade secrets. The changes to the TML will

Stuttgart Court of Appeals: Unfair conduct when textile components are indicated in English in Germany

At the end of 2018, the Stuttgart Court of Appeals [Oberlandesgericht] clarified that, pursuant to Regulation (EU) No. 1007/2011 on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products (hereinafter: the Textile Regulation), in Germany the components of a textile product must be indicated in German. The use of English terms

China: Appetite for anti-unfair competition action in the Internet space

It’s been almost a year since the new “Internet clause” in China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL) is in force. The enforcement authority hasn’t used it much in 2018. But one decision is noteworthy. AUCL amendment On 1 January 2018, the first amendment to the AUCL since its enactment in 1993 came into effect. One of

FTC v. Qualcomm: Court Requires Licensing of SEPs to Competitors

A recent decision in the FTC v. Qualcomm Inc. case by U.S. district judge Lucy Koh calls into question the practice among some SEP holders of providing patent licenses only to downstream purchasers of products and refusing to provide licenses to direct competitors. In June 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sued Qualcomm in the

Total Brand Care: New ways of getting it wrong – competition law in a world of data

Anti-competitive behaviour can impact a brand in many ways. Restricting competition will lead to significant financial penalties, which will affect the brand-owner very directly. But beyond the financial risks, many things associated with competition law violations are viewed by consumers as something extremely negative, which impacts on the reputation of the brand, as well as

Hong Kong relaxes regulations on product placement: Episode two

The Communications Authority (“CA”) recently issued its decision to relax existing regulations on indirect advertising (commonly known as product placement) in television programmes (“TV programmes”) and to lift bans on advertisements for undertakers and associated services. We have previously discussed the CA’s decision in September 2017 to review its Generic Code of Practice on Television

China’s Advertising Law – That fine is (chest)nuts!

In a recent decision, a Chinese court imposed a fine lower than the statutory range under the Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China (as amended in 2015) (“Advertising Law“). This suggests that courts retain certain discretion in reducing statutory sanctions under the Advertising Law. This decision, while not binding on other courts and

Total Brand Care Series: 12 June – Protecting and enhancing your brand’s value is much more than just a trade mark issue.

London: 12 June 2018, 08:30 – 18:30   Join us on 12 June for a seminar specifically designed to help you consider the diverse commercial and legal matters that impact positively and negatively on brand value and the overall success of your business. Topics will cover: Collecting, using and protecting customer data Protecting your brand

Japan: Defendant shelved – IP High Court judgement finds for unfair competition

The Intellectual Property High Court (IPHC) rendered a judgement on 29 March 2018, granting a permanent injunction on the sale of shelving units marketed by the defendant. The IPHC found that the shelving units had similar characteristics to shelving units marketed by the plaintiff, and thus violated the Japanese unfair competition regulation. Both parties are

Adblocking reloaded: No unfair competition, says German Supreme Court

Germany’s highest civil court signs off on the business model behind AdBlock Plus The popular adblocking software AdBlock Plus, and the underlying business model of Eyeo GmbH, do not fall foul of German unfair competition rules. On 19 April, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) handed down its landmark ruling on the legality of adblocking

EU: Cross-border parcel delivery – Council approves final text of regulation

The Digital Single Market, as pushed forward with increasing speed by the European institutions, does not end with the click of a “purchase” icon. Goods ordered and bought online need to find their way to the purchaser, be it a consumer or a corporation. This is why the Commission, as part of its overall DSM

Hogan Lovells Expands IP Practice with Addition of Prominent Trademark Lawyer Julia Matheson

We are pleased to announce that leading trademark lawyer Julia Anne Matheson, who specializes both in portfolio management and disputes, has joined the firm as a partner in Washington, D.C. Matheson joins Hogan Lovells after nearly 24 years with the respected IP firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. “Julia is one of the

Cross-border parcel delivery – European Parliament approves the regulation proposal

Some time ago now, the European Commission launched an initiative to improve transparency and regulate the cross-border parcel delivery sector as part of its aspiration to create a real Digital Single Market. Clearly, no pan-European online market can exist without a functioning delivery system covering the entirety of the Union. A draft regulation on this

Hong Kong seminar review: What to say and what not to say – navigating the increasingly complex advertising laws

On 30 January 2018, our Hong Kong office hosted an interactive discussion on the increasingly complex legal landscape of advertising activities in Hong Kong and China. Partner Eugene Low and our guest speaker, Dr. Albert Ho, practising barrister and former Assistant Commissioner of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, provided their insights on some

#unfaircompetition – limitations to influencer marketing under German law

More and more companies advertise their products through so called influencer marketing, using the accounts of social media stars to reach their followers. The Higher Regional Court of Celle decided recently that a company using an influencer to post advertising on Instagram may be liable for failing to clearly indicate the underlying commercial purpose even

Life Sciences: Spotlight interview on false advertising claims in Europe

Life sciences businesses dedicate huge resources to advertising material in a fiercely competitive market. Partner Tanja Eisenblätter discusses false advertising in this sector and why it is important for clients looking to launch new products. Preliminary injunctions in Germany Tanja presents a typical business case in which a client’s global advertising and its competitors’ advertising are assessed for misleading or unlawful content. In

Pharma advertising in Italy – Online publication of OTC medicinal products list, prices and reimbursability

The Court of Milan held in a Judgment recently handed down in the proceedings brought by Bayer S.p.a. against the generic manufacturer DOC Generici S.r.l. that online publication of over-the-counter (OTC) medicinal products in the manner specified in the proceedings is in breach of Italian law on advertising of medicinal products and amounts to an

Germany: Federal Network Agency imposes record fine for cold call advertising

The German Federal Network Agency for Energy, Telecommunications, Post and Railway, has issued a record fine of €300,000 against an electricity supplier for systematic cold call advertising. Violations of the German Unfair Competition Act (UWG) generally involve the risk of competitors seeking cease and desist orders, or consumers claiming compensation. The violation of Sec. 7 UWG

US Webinar: TCPA for the boardroom – An executive focus

Please join us on May 12 for an interactive webinar led by representatives from Hogan Lovells’ extensive Telephone Consumer Protection Act practice, including IP partner Zenas Choi. Together, they will help your executive team assess: –          Major risk drivers and key factors for strategic decision making. –          Recent litigation and regulatory developments. –          The election