In March we reported on the launch of a challenge in Germany to the “lastminute” brand on grounds that as not all the products offered by the site were effectively “lastminute” the brand name was innately misleading and anti competitive.
Topic: Misleading advertising
Who: L’Tur Tourismus and lastminutecom’s German subsidiary
When: July 2000
In March we reported on the launch of a challenge in Germany to the "lastminute" brand on grounds that as not all the products offered by the site were effectively "lastminute" the brand name was innately misleading and anti competitive. Now the Hamburg District Court has pronounced judgement on the challenge, throwing it out. Although the Court held the lastminute branding "generic" in that it purported to describe a range of services, he did not feel that on this account alone it should be regarded as anti competitive, or that it should be approached too literally.
Why this matters:
Before this decision the Hamburg court had been the chosen forum for challengers to domain names thought to be "generic." In one case the court rejected the concept of a url describing a service of sourcing shared rented accommodation, being "bagged" by one company when many other companies would legitimately expect to use the words to describe their services. That decision is under appeal, as may this decision be, but it at least it removes a potentially large cloud from lastminute’s horizon.