Press release of April 10, 2014
On March 27, 2014, the Hamburg Appeal Court (Case 5 U 11/12) confirmed a decision of the lower Hamburg District Court of October 31, 2011 (Case 408 HKO 84/11), prohibiting marketing of bottle closures which are copies of the closures used by the Swiss-based company SIGG Switzerland AG for its famous aluminum bottles. The SIGG bottles are the only aluminum bottles made in Switzerland; all other products are made abroad, primarily in the Far East. SIGG was represented by BARDEHLE PAGENBERG.
The Hamburg Appeal Court found the accused bottle closures distributed by the German company NICI GmbH to be an almost identical imitation of the SIGG closures. The claims against NICI were based on provisions of German unfair competition law prohibiting product imitations (“misappropriation”). Both the Hamburg District and the Hamburg Appeal Court found that the original closure of the SIGG bottle displayed an increased “competitive individuality” which distinguished these products from competing products while the accused closure was a quasi-identical imitation; its marketing would deceive consumers in an avoidable manner as to the origin of the NICI product. According to the Hamburg Appeal Court, the design of the SIGG closure was not dictated or determined by technical or ergonomic considerations. NICI could easily have avoided the similarities by using a different design.
SIGG is a leader in providing hydration products proudly made in Switzerland since 1908. Through a rich tradition of quality, innovation, design and eco-consciousness, SIGG products are synonymous worldwide with smart and sustainable drinking solutions. Noted for their built-to-last quality and 100% recyclability, SIGG bottles were originally a favorite among mountaineers and hikers. Today, SIGG offers a wide collection of functional and fashionable bottles for every walk of life.
The decision of the Hamburg Appeal Court, adopted in interim proceedings, is not subject to any further appeal.
Representative SIGG Switzerland AG:
BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (Munich):
Dr. Henning Hartwig (Attorney-at-Law, Partner)
Anna Mattes (Attorney-at-Law)
Representative NICI GmbH:
Heinrich Erb & Partner (Frankfurt/Main):
Melanie Simone Fischer, LL.M. (Attorney-at-Law)
Hamburg Appeal Court (5th Senate):
Heiner Steeneck (Presiding Judge)