Pinsent Masons is successful with City of Munich landmark Oktoberfest appeal

20 May 2022 | 11:04 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons is advising the City of Munich in appeal proceedings brought by the organisers of a planned Oktoberfest event in Dubai. The organisers provided cease-and-desist undertakings, thereby in effect accepting a preliminary injunction issued in this landmark case by the District Court in favour of the City of Munich.

By providing full cease-and-desist undertakings in the course of an appeal hearing before the Higher Regional Court of Munich on 19 May 2022, the defendants accepted that they are prohibited from creating the impression that the annual Munich Oktoberfest was relocating to the Middle East. Any violation of the undertakings will trigger contractual penalties.

As part of the judgment the use of images that suggest relocation, has been prohibited, as does any corresponding reference to the Munich Oktoberfest in the promotion of the event in Dubai. The City of Munich successfully argued that the organisers unlawfully tried to exploit the reputation of the original Oktoberfest.

The team at Pinsent Masons advising on the case was led by Dr Nils Rauer and Florian Traub

Commenting on the case Dr. Nils Rauer said: "We are very pleased that the Higher Regional Court also shares our legal opinion and has ruled in favour of the City of Munich. Thus, it has now been finally confirmed that an imitation of the brand of the Munich Oktoberfest may not be used for one's own purposes."

"We’re proud of the role we have played on this crucial ruling advising the City of Munich and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to collaborate with the authority to reach a positive result for the City of Munich protecting Oktoberfest’s brand in Germany and beyond.”

Pinsent Masons was instructed to advise the City of Munich in 2021 to support the city as it challenged organisers of the Dubai event for their undue advertising and marketing conduct. The City of Munich successfully relied on the protection awarded by the German Law against Unfair Competition. The District Court had confirmed that the Oktoberfest enjoys individual character as the original beer festival organised in Munich, and that the targeted public could be deceived into believing that the original would relocate to Dubai. This provides the City of Munich with supplemental protection in addition to its rights from the EU trade mark for “Oktoberfest”.

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