Deception by registered trademark symbol ® – grill master

A caterer had the idea of registering ‘grill meister’ [‘grill master’] as a brand for his barbecue and beer products, as well as for his catering. He gave his brand a simple design and as a special feature the registered trademark symbol ®. However, the caterer was very surprised when the Federal Court of Justice certified his trade mark as not only being unable to be protected, but also deceptive.

Prosecution of managers - brand violation by employees

You are a managing director in Germany and are provided with information about a business set up by one of your departments. You assume your management responsibility in relation to the project. Could you become liable to prosecution, should the business be used to commit trade mark infringement? The following copyright case is an example of the legal situation in German trade mark law.