Friday, December 19, 2014 v. Tug of War

The expansion of the E-World has resulted in disputes relating to domain names. The bone of contention was the use of the sign “” between German website and the Austrian weather website which was also accessible “Wetter-DE/Wetter DE/” and offered a Smartphone app called “wetter DE” via its online shop.

The Regional Court of Cologne, decided in favour of On appeal, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne initially held that “” was subject to work title protection but afterwards decided that Austrian website can continue with its usage as there is very low level of distinctiveness. Wetter describes the content of the app and was not protectable under Articles 5 (3), 15 (1, 2, 3 4) German Trade Mark Act. The judges were of the view that it even failed to qualify for work title protection. It was purely descriptive in nature without even a low degree of distinctiveness. in the meantime remains free to use the signs “Wetter-DE/Wetter DE/” for its apps.

-Shambhavi Mishra