The following is excerpted from a presentation by Heinz Goddar and Carl-Richard Haarmann of Boehmert & Boehmert available at Baidu:
Legal Pitfalls of Exhibiting in Germany
- In order to exhibit products in Germany you first need to bring the items which are to be exhibited into the country
- Many IP owners are making sure to cover Germany with their portfolio of patents, trademarks, design registrations etc.
- Any act of exhibition, offering, selling, distributing, importing, exporting or transit of goods may be considered to be an act of infringement of such IP rights, provided that the respective IP right is valid and an infringement is found
- According to the jurisdiction of German IP courts it is totally irrelevant if the exhibitor finally intends to offer/sell his product to German customers.
- Even if the exhibitor makes it very clear that he will not or can not import the items on exhibition into Germany, still exhibiting the product will be considered an IP infringement
- No exhibitor can defend himself by claiming that the item on exhibition is only a sample to demonstrate his technical abilities
The full presentation, including a case study of the Berlin police raid at IFA 2008 (Internationale Funkausstellung) on August 29, 2008, is available here.