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Pirate products at German trade fairs
An information sheet for exhibitors
Trade fairs reflect the market representing the complete range of products
offered in a sector in concentrated form. Thus, trade fairs provide a com-
prehensive overview for visitors and exhibitors. Nowhere else is it easier to
compare your own products with those of the competitors than at trade
fairs. It comes as no surprise that exhibitors often notice their products
have been faked for the first time on trade fairs.
When are copies illegal?
In Germany the basic principle of freedom to copy applies. That means
that, in principle, everyone may copy other products, processes and brands.
Only the holders of special protection rights can forbid third parties the
reproduction and the commercial use of his protected product or his pro-
tected brand. In addition to the production, the holder of protection rights
can also prohibit the marketing by third parties or simple offering for sale
or advertising of the pirated products. Furthermore, he can demand from
the copying party that he desist from infringing the protection rights and
demand from the compensation for goods already sold. He has a claim to
information about the origin of the products and can even call for the de-
struction of products which still exist.
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What are protection rights?
Protection rights include, among others
Patents are granted for inventions which are: new, based on an inven-
tive activity and commercially applicable. A patent grants the inventor
the right, for a specified period of time, to prevent others from using,
producing, selling or importing his invention. In return, the inventor
must disclose the details of his invention in a patent specification which
is accessible to everyone.
▶ Utility model
As in a patent, the object registered as a utility model must be new,
based on an inventive activity and commercially applicable. Utility