Unfair Competition

Broad-based expertise in all areas

Gleiss Lutz has extensive experience in advising on issues relating to unfair competition, having been actively involved in shaping this legal area for over 50 years. We work closely with clients in developing advertising and marketing strategies. This means ensuring that campaigns comply with competition law. It also requires defending campaigns where they are contested by competitors or trade associations. We not only flag up legal risks, but also help clients develop creative alternative solutions.

Juve Handbuch 2022/2023

“... continues to operate at a high level in trademark and unfair competition law, strengthening its position in the market.”

Marketing promotions & campaigns

We offer extensive advice and support to clients on advertising issues – from the development and assessment of individual slogans and draft promotions to the creation of entire advertising campaigns.

We not only identify inherent legal risks, but also deliver innovative solutions that help our clients get their ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace – without infringing competition law. Marketing campaigns are often directed at target audiences in more than one country. Backed by our vast experience and network of cooperation partners abroad, we vet these campaigns for compliance with competition law requirements with respect both to German law and to the law in the other jurisdictions in which the campaign is to be run.

Contentious litigation

We defend clients’ promotions against challenges brought by competitors and trade associations. This involves reviewing warning letters and assessing competitors’ advertisements to identify possibilities for mounting legal counterattacks.

Our clients also benefit from our solid expertise in settling competition disputes out of court and in creating dispute avoidance strategies. We develop strategies for battling unfair competition in Germany and abroad. Together with our international cooperation partners, we coordinate the parallel execution of relevant measures in different countries. When it comes to litigation, we handle all necessary court-related procedures, from injunctions, to protective writs, to fully fledged lawsuits. We take great care while preparing cases, if necessary conducting test purchases and hiring investigators. Our specialists are also well-versed in carrying out market surveys, and work closely with market research institutions, especially when preparing questionnaires.

Protection of business and trade secrets

Gleiss Lutz provides clients with comprehensive advice regarding the protection of business and trade secrets and the development of related strategies.

This is an area in which our unfair competition practice has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Where clients suffer losses due to the disclosure of business and trade secrets, we take all necessary criminal and civil enforcement measures.

Food law

In the area of food law, a special subset of unfair competition law, Gleiss Lutz is among the market leaders. We advise on all aspects of product labelling, in particular regarding the new Food Information Regulation.

Key areas include labelling of allergens, declaring the various quantities of ingredients and the use of novel food ingredients. Making a distinction between food and pharmaceuticals – one that is extremely important in the case of "functional foods", for example – also raises complex legal issues. Where foods contain objectionable ingredients, we help develop legally required solutions, such as product recalls, while keeping an eye on economic viability. We also advise on product liability issues.


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