Event name “Kiesgrube” saved from cold takeover

What has already been the subject of media speculation last week has now become certainty: Kiesgrube Event GmbH and its CEO Tom Preuss, represented by lawyers Dr. Georg Jacobs and Marcel Maybaum, prevailed in three appeals in preliminary injunction proceedings before Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. The Higher Regional Court’s 20th Civil Senate held that Kiesgrube Event GmbH has the older and thus “better” rights to the name “Kiesgrube” [“gravel pit”] than the former promoter and present competitor. All three judgements in the preliminary injunction proceedings on were issued on the basis of summary examinations. Although they are no longer appealable, Kiesgrube Event GmbH has already filed a complaint in the main proceedings. The legal dispute is conducted at Düsseldorf Regional Court under Case 2a O 156/19. In addition, the competitor has announced that it will accept the decision as final and issue a closing statement.

“With these three judgments, we have achieved resounding success against the attempt at a cold takeover of such a successful series of events,” said Dr. Georg Jacobs, specialist lawyer for IP at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. “The Higher Regional Court fully concurs with our opinion that the event and its designation are basically inseparable,” added music and event lawyer Marcel Maybaum. “I’m willing to face up to a fair competition. This includes other promoters of similar events not falsely taking all – our – credit.” said Tom Preuss, CEO of Kiesgrube Event GmbH.

Introduced in Neuss in 1996, the “Kiesgrube” music event series has successfully established itself since 2010 under the management of Kiesgrube Event GmbH led by Tom Preuss and enjoys supra-regional popularity. In 2010, Kiesgrube Event GmbH took over the event series from the former promoter. At the beginning of 2019, the previous promoter attempted to reclaim the event series by denying Kiesgrube Event GmbH access to the venue and announcing that it would now promote its own events there under the “Kiesgrube” Name. Kiesgrube Event GmbH and the previous promoter each applied for interim injunctions at Düsseldorf Regional Court against the use of the “Kiesgrube” designation by the respective other party. Kiesgrube Event GmbH materially prevailed in both proceedings, conducted under Cases 2a O 22/19 and 2a O 23/19. The Regional Court prohibited the opposing party from using the “Kiesgrube” designation and essentially rejected its motion against Kiesgrube Event GmbH. In both proceedings, the opposing party appealed to the Higher Regional Court (Cases I-20 U 34 and 36/19). The Higher Regional Court has now dismissed both appeals for the most part, thus confirming that Kiesgrube Event GmbH has the older rights to the “Kiesgrube” designation.

In further injunction proceedings before the Higher Regional Court (Case I-9 U 99/19), the parties are in dispute as to whether the opposing party was allowed to lock Kiesgrube Event GmbH out of the venue and use the buildups that Kiesgrube Event GmbH had erected in this venue.

Counsel to Kiesgrube Event GmbH
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:

Dr. Georg Jacobs (Lead, Industrial Property Law)
Marcel Maybaum (Music and Event Law), both Düsseldorf

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