Advertisements should be exciting and creative.
Sylvio Schiller

Not every permissible warning is also useful.

Sylvio Schiller

Competition law

In the competition between companies, even a small lead can mean a considerable advantage. In order to ensure that companies act in a fair manner in their competition for customers, the legislator has established some statutory rules in the course of the past 100 years. The main objective is to allow a healthy level of competition between competitors.

In the meantime, legal standards have become very extensive and the jurisdiction quite difficult to comprehend. Thus, sometimes it is difficult for companies to refrain from acting in an anti-competitive manner. That is why our attorneys at law specializing in the relevant fields of law and our specialist attorneys provide advice to our clients on all issues relating to the competition law. However, our legal advice relating to the aforementioned field of law starts with more fundamental issues of your business, such as the development of promotional activities, product packaging, websites, GTC and similar business activities in order to avoid disputes, especially written warnings and preliminary injunctions.

The term of advertising law is rather colloquial and comprises all legal issues which may arise in connection with advertising. In this context, a significant proportion is governed by laws which regulate the competition between companies. With regard to this field of law, our clients can benefit from our broad range of professional expertise in the field of competition, trademark and copyright law as well as in the field of personality right and data protection law where we can also provide comprehensive advice on all related issues.

Marketing strategies are intended to attract the attention of the customers, and they should be allowed to reach the target groups. However, they must not be anti-competitive in their nature.  That is why, in the ideal case, we are involved as early as in the development phase, because our involvement at this early stage allows us to point to critical aspects and to show our clients options on how to implement them without exposing themselves to a possible attack of the competition.

Nothing is more annoying than having to stop an expensive marketing campaign, because a written warning or even a preliminary injunction has been received. We defend the advertising campaigns of our clients against legal complaints from competitors or associations and we provide our clients with advice if they receive a written warning and/or we represent them in legal proceedings.

Many small and medium-sized companies regularly get in contact with the rules under competition law when designing websites for a commercial Internet presence. This especially applies to online stores or offers on Ebay.  Even minor infringements of the regulations may entail expensive written warnings.

In recent years, many changes have been made regarding the topics of legal notice, cancellation policy, obligations to provide information or item description so that adaptations need to be made at regular intervals in order to prevent yourself or your company from becoming vulnerable and contestable. Moreover, recent developments in the social networks always have to be implemented according to the legal regulations of the legislator.  In this context, our attorneys at law and our specialist attorneys support you on the basis of their experience gained over several years, their extensive know-how and their current knowledge. We offer you an individual examination of your online offer under all imaginable legal aspects, or a continuous cooperation in which we regularly inform our clients about news in this area and about necessary changes which must be made in order to prevent written warnings from competitors.

Written warnings are an appropriate tool to achieve a fast out-of-court settlement in disputes under the competition as well as the trademark and the copyright law. Even if the written warning has become discredited in recent years, and the objection of abuse of rights is often raised, we regard it as an ideal measure to safeguard our clients’ interests.

If our clients are of the opinion that any competitor infringes upon the competition law by the competitor’s conduct in the individual case, we will check this and decide together with our client whether a written warning should be sent or not. In this regard, we always place emphasis on the objectives of our clients. Furthermore, we also take account of any possible economic relations between the party to which the written warning is sent and our clients, and of the possibilities of counter-warnings on the basis of our extensive experience.

Last but not least, we will also support our clients if they have received a written warning. In this case, we check whether or not this written warning is effective and/or justified, and we suggest possible ways to respond to such a written warning. In consideration of all legal options and the economic aspects, we recommend that our client make a modified cease-and-desist declaration, reject the written warning, file a pre-emptive brief and/or arrange for his or her defence in the preliminary injunction proceedings or start a counter-attack.

In case of questions on the law on advertising in the healthcare sector, we provide advice to physicians, pharmacists and members of the healthcare professions and the healthcare industry when it comes to the question which advertising measures are allowed in the healthcare sector. We check their Internet presence, advertisements or other marketing measures, in consideration of the strict legal framework and the relevant court rulings in this context. Currently we regularly support our clients in the development of their practice name in order to avoid problems already at this stage.

In the majority of cases, it is not the “competitors“ but the medical association or the several competition associations that act as opponents in the interest of the competitors or the consumers and that take action against such competition which is considered by them as unfair competition. In case of out-of-court settlement of disputes under the competition law and in the development of dispute avoidance strategies, our clients can rely on our extensive professional expertise in these cases.

We provide advice to several clients that manufacture or distribute own cosmetics on all issues relating to the cosmetics regulation and the corresponding European regulations. On the basis of our extensive professional expertise, we can support our clients with regard to the demands placed on the marking of cosmetics and the associated design of the products, product packaging or advertising measures in this context. Moreover, we support our clients in their obligation to register with the relevant authorities.

Apart from our pure advisory activity, written warnings and disputes under the competition law belong to the main areas of expertise of our team in this field of law. Therefore, we can provide comprehensive advice to companies in this market segment.

Do you have any further questions? Our foregoing general information cannot replace legal advice in individual cases. If you require legal advice or legal representation for your specific concern, we will be pleased to be at your disposal. Simply call or write us.  

  • Defence in case of written warnings due to infringements of the competition law
  • Written warnings to competitors
  • Examination of online shops, GTC, legal notice, cancellation policy, data privacy statement
  • Provision of advice on and examination of marketing measures, prize draws
  • Provision of advice on and examination of the design of product packaging
  • Provision of advice on all issues relating to the law on advertising in the healthcare sector
  • Provision of advice on all aspects relating to the cosmetics regulations
  • Representation in preliminary injunction proceedings and other court proceedings