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2x Gamesrecht at the Federal Court of Justice, supervised by RA Marian Härtel

This post is also available in: Deutsch

So nine years I am now admitted to the bar and next week, 6/10/2016 to be exact, I will be in Karlsruhe with a client at this time, handling my first two cases at the Federal Supreme Court. Legally and in terms of procedural strategy, two highly complicated cases, but that is precisely why they are so exciting. Four more cases are likely to follow soon. All of them revolve around computer games in the broadest sense, but will also have an impact on other future decisions in IT law. For example, one of the cases, an appeal against a decision of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court, is closely related to the legal questions that arise in the Adblock Plus case, namely who is responsible for any competitive consequences of a software, the manufacturer of the software or the users of the software.

In detail, this case concerns the question of the admissibility of the production and distribution of automation software for the computer game World of Warcraft, with the specification and questions of whether the distribution constitutes an inducement to breach of contract or whether the distribution has an adverse effect on competition or whether such an adverse effect has been sufficiently proven.

The second case concerns the question of which rights of use are transferred in the event of a sale of a computer game if no special restrictions, for example on commercial use, are agreed. Furthermore, the case concerns the question of which information claims are owed from a possible copyright infringement in the case of the limited transfer of rights by the purpose transfer theory. These proceedings resulted from an appeal against a decision of the Dresden Higher Regional Court, which was preceded by a complaint of non-admission.

There will be a summary of the results as soon as the decision is known. I will also report on the other issues that the same client has pending before the BGH in due course. These relate firstly to the game Diablo III, secondly to questions of the territoriality principle in copyright law and, last but not least, a smaller case concerns questions of the amount of damages in commercial copyright infringements on the Internet. In all cases, the lawyer acting for the Federal Supreme Court is the now highly esteemed colleague Mr. Rinkler.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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