After years of litigation against advertising and distribution of the ‘Wagenfeld lamp’, a work of applied art enjoying design protection in Germany, Tecnolumen GmbH & Co. KG, a company that manufactures design objects, has finally been handed victory. The Federal Court of Justice dismissed the appeal on points of law lodged by the defendant, Dimensione Direct Sales S.r.l., an Italian online trader that had advertised in German and with literal and pictorial reference to the Wagenfeld lamp that it was possible to purchase the lamp in Italy.
The decision handed down by the Federal Court of Justice, which is linked to a set of three other decisions in cases involving similar legal and factual issues, interprets Section 17 (1) of the German Copyright Act (UrhG) in conformity with Directive 2001/29/EC and is based on the ECJ judgement of 13 May 2015 (C-516/13) in a case which had been referred by the Federal Court of Justice to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling.
The press release issued by the Federal Court of Justice (186/2015, case no. I ZR 76/11 dated 5 November 2015/only available in German) can be found here.