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Germany


• In June 2003 the German Federal Supreme Court decided that formats are generally not protectable according to German Copyright Act.

[Decision of the German Federal Supreme Court of 26 June 2003 (I ZR 176/01), 2003 GRUR 876 = 2003 ZUM 771 - “Kinderquatsch mit Michael” (Children’s Nonsense with Michael)].


• In February 2004, Dr. Marc Heinkelein published a handbook entitled "Copyright Protection for Creators of Television Shows and Television Show Formats“ which comprehensively shows that copyright protection for formats according to the principles of the German Copyright Act goes much further than previously assumed by the relevant court decisions and literature. The compelling arguments which are clearly in favour of stronger protection of formats can be applied to almost all systems of law. The book also contains a practice-oriented catalogue of preventive measures which can help format developers to protect their concepts.

The German edition is currently available from Dr. Marc Heinkelein (under his homepage www.entertainment-media-law.de) or the NOMOS publishing house (ISBN: 3-8329-0560-X).

Please click here to download (PDF Format)
- a general information about the book
- a short description of the book


• In May 2004, Dr. Marc Heinkelein and Christoph Fey (Managing Director FRAPA) published an essay about “Format Protection” in the law magazine GRUR Int. [GRUR Int. 5/2004 378; ISSN: 0435-8600], which contains a short summary of the crucial starting points and arguments for stronger format protection (explained in detail in Heinkelein’s handbook) and additional to that comprehensively shows, that the issued decision by the German Federal Supreme Court, rejecting format protection, is self-contradictory to a high degree and untenable in its reasoning.

The English version of the essay together with a postscript regarding a “Comparative Perspective” by Dr. Christopher Heath will be published soon.