Appeal Court in Berlin prohibits discounter from selling Coty luxury perfumes

Coty distributes high quality fine fragrances through a selective distribution system. The admissibility of the selective distribution system was recently confirmed by the noteworthy “Akzente” ruling of the European Court of Justice (judgement of 6 December 2017, C-230/16). The findings of this judgement are already bearing fruit:Lubberger Lehment has assisted Coty to successfully defend themselves against the distribution of their luxury perfumes in the branches of the discounter Aldi. The Appeal Court in Berlin (decision of 11 May 2018, Ref.: 5 W 97/18) ruled that Coty was right that the product presentation in a typical discounter sales environment affected the prestige value of the brand concerned. The prominent offer of the branded perfumes in the context of special sales campaigns does not change this assessment. Coty can oppose this form of resale. “If the defendant (…) also wants to gain an image boost as a discounter by offering inexpensive special sales of luxury products, it is obliged (…) to take special consideration. In this respect, they can be reasonably expected to maintain the special prestige of luxury products, even in the event of selling off remaining stock, without offering the goods in the style of a careless, rummage table. The court expressly refers to the “Akzente” ruling in continuation of the CJEU rulings “Copard/Dior” (C-59/08) and “Dior/Evora” (C-337/95). This is where selective distribution and brand protection come together – even discounters must take account of this.

Representatives of Coty:
Lubberger Lehment (Berlin): Dr. Rani Mallick and Eva Maierski