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Germany: Federal Court of Appeal Bans “Praebiotik + Probiotik” as an Illegal Health Claim

Moritz Hagenmeyer

The trade mark “Praebiotik® + Probiotik®” is a health claim. This may sound incredible, but has thus been decided by the German Federal Court of Appeal in its most recent food law judgement of 26.2.2014 (I ZR 178/12). The ruling continues the line of curious decisions expanding the advertising bans of Claims Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 in Germany (cf. most recently EFFL 2013, 416 – “Vitalpilze”). The significance of the case may well reach far beyond the baby food in issue; the court’s judgment could have serious repercussions on all marketing of prebiotic and probiotic ingredients. What the case was about, how the court came to its decision and what follows therefrom for food advertising practice shall be sketched here in brief.


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