Manufacturer’s information when applying for electrical appliances

Manufacturer's information when applying for electrical appliances 1

In a judgment of the end of last year, the Landgericht Dortmund agreed with the unanimous case law of, for example, the Federal Court of Justice, the OLG Hamm, the OLG Celle and the OLG Jena, according to which the manufacturer’s information on the essential characteristics of Section 5a para.3 No. 1 UWG counts. Although the present case concerns electrical appliances such as refrigerators, this is also logically applicable to other electrical appliances. The BGH justified its decision on the grounds that it was only the undoubted identification of electrical appliances that gave a buyer the opportunity to obtain information on the execution and technical data, as well as the average price of the equipment. This would allow the buyer to make a judgment on the quality and value of it.

The same is not true for things like gamer hardware, which is often very similar, where no-name goods from Asia are common and where price comparison is only possible through correct product identification. Otherwise, the buyer runs the risk of being prompted to take a commercial decision within the meaning of Paragraph 2(9) of the UWG, which he would otherwise not have taken.

So who do things like hardware, actually all products that are not absolutely unique (such as software or computer games, which are only available from a manufacturer and the like) and where buyers nowadays make price comparisons, or for which branded products are generally more expensive and/or higher quality than no-name products, the manufacturer should not be specified. This applies only within the framework of brochures, as in the present case, or – of course – in the own online shop, but also when applying via banners, such as Google Ads, on affiliate campaigns and the like. The intention of the legislator is even more expressed in banner advertisements. The only way to distinguish it is pure attention-seeking, but the path is narrow and the risk of warning, especially from consumer protection associations and competitors, is relatively high. Consumer protection is always a great asset in German courts!

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