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German Federal Court of Justice in “wetter.de”: Protection of domains and apps as work titles

In principle, domain names of internet services as well as of apps for mobile devices like smartphones can obtain protection as work titles (Federal Court of Justice, judgement of January 28, 2016).

In certain cases (i.e. newspapers, magazines), the requirements with regard to the necessary degree of distinctiveness are rather modest if the public is used to the fact that works are given descriptive titles and therefore pays attention to minor differences in the titles. However, these principles have to be put aside when it comes to the naming of websites and smartphone apps.

Work titles can also overcome a lacking inherent distinctive character by an acquired secondary meaning. But, in view of the highly descriptive character of the title “wetter.de”, the assumed reputation must not be lower than 50%.

 

For more information, please visit: Mitteilung der Pressestelle des Bundesgerichtshofs.