No Necessity for Civil Code Explanation

Do online vendors have to instruct their customer on 1.) details how to save the text of the contract, 2.) the technical steps that lead to a contract, and 3.) details on payment and delivery?  LG Berlin denied this duty (re 16 = 66/908 of March 7, 2008).


A smart alec tried to create a new possibility for some income via admonishments for violating the rules of unfair competition. Admonishments are legal “punishment” for disobeying such rules preformed by a competitor. When rightly admonished you are obliged to pay for the damages, which will typically be the legal costs – the opposing attorney’s fees. Often but not necessarily the values in the dispute are inflated. Upon failing of the out-of-court settlement, a temporary injunction will be initiated.

1.)  Information on Storing the Contract Text

In a temporary injunction (einstweilige Verfügung), the applicant complained of a breach of §3 UWG by  violating §312e BGB in conjunction with §3 no. 2 BGB - InfoVO that the vendor did not sufficiently inform the customer on how the contract text can be stored. LG Berlin, however, sees this as negligible impairment. The information duties are to draw the customer’s attention to the possibility that he is able to download the contract and store it on his computer and / or print it in order to permanently save the contract. This is to enable the customer to arm himself with the contract if it should come to warranty or other contractual questions. It remains within the customer’s discretion  whether to download or print the contract. When he fails to do so, this is not the seller’s worry. I no. 2, 3

2.) Information on Technical Steps to Enter a Contract

Further, the applicant alleged that the vendor violated the rule in §312e BGB in conjunction with §3 no. 3 BGB - InfoVO because the webshop did not instruct the purchaser regarding the technical details of close a contract and so committed an act of unfair competition. The court also dismissed this argument stating it is not an act of unfair competition because this forbearance is negligible. It is common knowledge for the informed and attentive consumer, that when he clicks a button with the words "into the basket" or a similar text, a contract becomes final. I no. 2

3.) Information on Payment and Delivery

The applicant additionally argued that the requirements of §312c BGB in conjunction with art. 1 no. 9 BGB - InfoVO were missing and this constituted an act of unfair competition. This rule states that details on shipping and delivery have to be made to the purchaser. I

The court even dismissed this issue. There is no serious  infringement of §3 UWG and therefore no relevant act of unfair competition regarding this disadvantage to the consumer. In the case, that STC are invalid, the Civil Code still governs the case. The rights and duties of the Civil Code remain. No businessperson needs to instruct a consumer on the contents of the Civil Code.


The Berlin Regional Court had a kind day and gave those wanting to open a new powder keg for admonishments, a rebuke. Currently, there is hardly a trader that posts the above information on their website.

Published on the old CMS: 2008/8/31
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 2,221 reads

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