In a judgement handed down on 11 February 2009, the 9th Civil Chamber of the Regional Court of Munich I prohibited a brewery from advertising its beer on radio or in any other way with the words
"Fresh, clean, pure, new German you say clean and exactly where do you think words like Klinsmann come from ...."
The former national football player and current coach of FC Bayern had not agreed to such advertising with his name and also did not want to tolerate it. The subject matter of the legal dispute was only claims for injunctive relief, not also claims for damages due to the use of the name.
In court, the parties argued, among other things, about which Mr Klinsmann was actually meant in the commercial. The brewery tried to convince the court that it was rather a Mr "Cleansman" who was mentioned in the mockery and that it was only about the purity of the beer. It was therefore a Mr. Cleansman who was meant as a synonym for "clean" and not "THE" Mr. Klinsmann.
However, the Munich Regional Court I did not follow the brewery's argumentation and prohibited the brewery from advertising the beer it produced with the disputed text. The Regional Court considered it proven that Mr Klinsmann's rights to his name were infringed by the advertising in dispute.
Judgment of the Regional Court of Munich I, file number: 9 O 16992/08; not legally binding
Source: Press release of the Munich Regional Court I
Goldberg Attorneys at Law
Attorney at Law Michael Ullrich, LL.M. (Information Law)
Specialist lawyer for information technology law (IT law)