ELS GmbH wrongly accused of license brokering for BellandVision

Final judgement by Bayreuth regional court includes high fines for breach

In its final judgement dated 14 March 2013, the Bayreuth regional court ruled that BellandVision will be fined heavily or, in the event of recurrent breaches, be charged with contempt of court and sentenced to prison if it accuses ELS Europäische LizenzierungsSysteme GmbH of license brokering again.

The judge reasoned that the evidence presented clearly proved that a Belland employee had referred to ELS as a license broker during a sales talk. He went on to say that this represented a misrepresentation of the facts as "the plaintiff is not a broker. In actual fact, the company organises the disposal of the packaging itself". The judge continued that "...the company [ELS] agrees contracts with a dual system for packaging that cannot be disposed of in accordance with Section 6 Paragraph 2 of the German Packaging Ordinance to ensure that its customers are covered with respect to both kinds of packaging." He added that applying the term "license broker" was a denigration and equalled the slander of ELS, as the comparison with a broker implied the charging of a fee without the performance of a service.

ELS demanded to know the details of the third party which BellandVision had been negotiating with when the term "license broker" was used; however, the judge rejected this demand, reasoning that as a competitor, the plaintiff was not entitled to receive this information.

"We are delighted by the Bayreuth regional court's final judgement," says Managing Director Sascha Schuh. "It has now been ascertained without a doubt that ELS is a full-service provider of solutions for the implementation of the German Packaging Ordinance. This is an important and appropriate result for our customers, potential customers and the other market stakeholders."

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