Now and then, as a lawyer, I suspect that colleagues and courts are too boring when they decide on legal priorities in everyday life. There are now many exciting legal problems that are unresolved. In IT law, international copyright law and many other areas.

Whether and how exactly on an online platform a link to the EU’s online dispute resolution platform (OS), which, at least in relation to the development of online commerce, hardly needs to be used, is not – I think – part of that.

And yet there are always warnings on the subject. For the first time, even the Federal Court of Justice has had to deal with the concrete integration. I can only shake my head.

The BGH had to decide whether it is sufficient for a trader to inform that he would occasionally participate in the platform. However, this would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

You have to let that melt on your tongue. Every trader has the opportunity to link this – in my opinion – completely useless platform, but in the same breath to inform that he does not use it and is not willing to participate. However, if the trader wants to keep the possible participation free and thus possibly helps the distribution of the platform, he can be warned and ultimately loses at the Federal Court of Justice.

You can’t imagine that.

The BGH:

The information set out on a website and/or in the General Terms and Conditions
communication contained by an entrepreneur, the willingness to participate in the
in a dispute resolution procedure before a consumer arbitration board
can be explained “on a case-by-case basis”, is not sufficiently clear and comprehensible
within the meaning of Section 36 para. 1 No. 1 VSBG. It leaves open the criteria from which the
company makes its decision conditional on participation in
dispute resolution procedure before a consumer arbitration body and therefore forces the consumer to ask questions. It also implies that:
that the entrepreneur – in contrast to S. 36 para. 1 No. 1 VSBG required –
has not yet made a decision on his willingness to participate.


Admittedly, the Federal Court of Justice must, of course, be credited with the fact that, in the end, it only on the basis of Paragraph 36(36) of the Federal Court of Justice. 1 No. 1 Consumer Dispute Settlement Act (VSBG) argues and, among other things, argues the risk of limitation for the consumer. However, this does not change the fact that such judgments only lead to even more traders definitively declaring the exclusion of the platform and making the situation even more nonsensical.

In any case, it would be the legislator’s turn, because it has introduced stricter standards than the directive itself into the law.

However, there is no reason or room for the interpretation, which is in conformity with the directive, as cited by the revision, that information obligations only apply to the entrepreneur obliged to participate. The directive merely lays down a minimum standard and does not prevent Member States from making stricter requirements for the trader’s reporting obligations in the interests of consumer protection. This is in Article 2(2) of the 3 The second sentence of the Directive, which provides that Member States ‘may maintain or introduce rules which go beyond the provisions of this Directive in order to ensure a higher level of consumer protection

The German legislature has made use of this possibility in the design of Paragraph 36(3) of the 1 No. 1 VSBG.

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