Registration Obligation/Brand-Related Issues

The growing number of legal disputes occurring on the market for some time now - both under the law on competition, and associated with the pursuit by the UBA (Federal Environmental Protection Agency) of breaches of administrative rules - have prompted take-e-way to again draw attention to the obligations under ElektroG (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act) and compliance with the EAR regulations.

In this connection we expressly warn against offering equipment that has not been registered. take-e-way knows of cases in which fines of several hundred thousand euros were imposed although master registration had been completed, but not all the brands placed on the market had been registered.

The currently emerging court rulings - also under the law on competition - are going in a clear direction in this respect. We would therefore ask you to act upon the following wording of Stiftung EAR.

"The producer is defined by the brand, and not by the company name" (intent of § 3 subsection 11 ElektroG (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act)). The brand is the decisive characteristic by which an item of equipment can be conclusively assigned to a producer. What must be stated therefore is the designation attached to the electrical and electronic equipment being placed on the market by a producer, regardless of whether this is a registered brand or not, and also regardless of whether the producer is also the brand owner (e.g. in the case of imports). If a producer places electrical and electronic equipment on the market under several brands, he must apply for separate registration for each brand (supplementary registration). The term brand also includes marks having acquired a secondary meaning as a trademark and well-known trademarks. Equipment type series designations (e.g. combination of letters and numbers) and equipment descriptions (e.g. "measuring equipment)" are not to be understood as brands.

In the event of queries relating to the implementation of brand-related issues, please do not hesitate to ring us on the usual numbers.

We will also be happy to advise on the implementation of the current amendment law to the Verpackungsordnung (Packaging Act), as well as our new "full membership package" in this connection.