When is the competition more vulgar

unfair competition

Competitive behavior that offends against »good morals« and against which action can be taken on the basis of the law against unfair competition (UWG).
In general, five groups of unfair competitive conditions can be distinguished:
I. Catching customers
2. Disability
3. Exploitation
4. Breach of law
5. Market disruption.

The law against unfair competition of June 7, 1909 (RGBl. 499), with amendments, prohibits in § 1 by a general clause generally competitive acts in business dealings which, according to the public opinion, offend morality, and in addition in §§ 3ff. certain competitive acts that are prohibited even if they do not violate morality in individual cases.

The standard for "good morals" is the view of the sensible and decent average trader in the relevant branch of industry, as long as it does not contradict the moral standards of the general public; therefore, for example, different standards apply to the advertising measures of a pharmaceutical company than to those of a nightclub, but even vulgar advertising must not contradict the general public's sense of decency. The immorality is to be derived from the objective factual situation, from the motive and purpose of the agent; he only needs to know the facts that make his competitive act appear unfair, not also be aware that it is against morality or the UWG.

The general clause of § 1 UWG includes, in particular, imitation and exploitation of third-party commercial performance results, economic boycott, use of (legal or even psychological purchase) compulsion, comparative advertising, sales hindrance, systematic poaching of workers or their induction to breach contract (esp. through bribes), so-called tapping (requesting special services from the supplier without consideration), deception and misleading of the buyer (e.g. by causing a risk of confusion or if customers are induced to buy for unobjective motives), tearing (excessive addressing or calling customers; customer catching ), Elimination of the free W., illegal behavior and its exploitation for the purposes of the W. (e.g. misuse of computer programs); regularly but not yet the sale below the cost price (price undercutting; see but decoy advertising). Unauthorized advertising, violations of the rules of special events, clearance sales or purchase slip trading as well as the protection of license plates, as well as bribery of employees, blackening, business defamation (Section 15 UWG), the use of business relationships with a risk of confusion (Section 16 UWG) are prohibited as special offenses ), Betrayal of trade secrets, violation of the rules of free gifts and discounts. The prohibition of the u.W. applies in all business dealings to all tradespeople, liberal professions and legal entities under public law, insofar as they take part in business dealings (e.g. through government companies).



Unfair competition W. leads to claims (statute of limitations usually in 6 months) for injunctive relief (injunctive relief), in the case of conclusion of a contract due to untrue and misleading advertising information on withdrawal from the contract (§ 13a UWG) and (in case of fault) on compensation, in this case also to general right to information (obligation to provide information).



Every injured competitor has the authority to do so; In some cases, the injunctive relief is also available to all competitors active in the same market and appropriately equipped interest groups (e.g. Chamber of Commerce and Industry) if they need legal protection (Section 13 UWG). According to the ruling, the action must be preceded by an unsuccessful warning, the costs of which must be borne by the infringer, if its assertion is not improper (e.g. only for the purpose of "tarnishing", so-called warning associations). For lawsuits that are based solely on the UWG, the court (commercial matter) in which the defendant has his commercial establishment or his place of residence (alternatively: his place of residence) has local jurisdiction, in the case of foreigners also the court in whose district the act was committed (§ 24 UWG). Competitive disputes can be settled amicably through arbitration bodies set up at the chambers of industry and commerce (Section 27a UWG). Several violations of the UWG are punishable (e.g. knowingly untrue misleading advertising, § 4 UWG; bribery of employees by means of bribes, § 12 UWG, the prospect of special advantages for the procurement of further customers by the customer - so-called progressive customer recruitment, pyramid scheme, § 6c UWG, or the betrayal of business or company secrets and industrial espionage, § 17 UWG, betrayal of secrets), some as an application offense and with private prosecution (§ 22 UWG, § 374 I No. 7 StPO).

Law against Unfair Competition

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