Tue, Nov. 06, 2007

Freight from China: IP Liability

CK - Washington.   A freight forwarder is not contributorily liable, under German trademark law, for the violation of trademarks by simply failing to inspect shipped goods for infringement just because they originate in a country known for infringing goods.

Medien, Internet und Recht published the August 15, 2007 appellate decision from the OLG Hamburg court in the matter 5 U 188/06. The court ruled in favor of the freight forwarder also because the packing did not enable the shipper to observe infringing marks on the goods.

The court also held that a petition for a TRO in IP matters must be preceded by a case-and-desist demand unless such action were clearly and objectively futile. Under the German rule of costs--loser pays--, an unfounded petition can be an expensive exercise.


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