Mon, Nov. 16, 2009

Language Does not Imply German Jurisdiction

.   Just because a website uses the German language, German courts may not necessarily exercize jurisdiction over a site based outside of Germany and not directing its business at customers in Germany, the Munich court of appeals ruled on October 10, 2009 in the matter 29 U 2636/09.

The decision is unavailable on the court's website--only the building is free of barriers, the site proclaims--but has been discussed on the Online & Recht site and the Rechts-News Archiv site on November 17, 2009.

According to these second-hand reports, the case involves a Swiss web site that a German party sued in Germany for trademark infringement. The court determined that the effects of the infringement may point to German jurisdiction. But it required also a nexus of the internet presentation with German consumers whom the infringement would confuse.

The Swiss site used the German language for its German-language customers and offered its wares only in Swiss currency. The language-nexus only is unsufficient for jurisdictional purposes, the court determined.

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