It has now been almost 5 years since you heard about the GDPR and the need to comply with this regulation concerning the collection of personal data. Since 2018, decisions have started to enamel the press and our clients realize the risk and the importance of certain convictions issued by the regulatory authorities.
A new trend is emerging, which consists of companies that have made the effort to comply with standards, to seek compensation from their competitors who do not do so.
In this sense, we would like to draw your attention to a decision of the Court of Paris rendered on April 15, 2022. The conflict opposed two companies, PLAISANCE EQUIPEMENT, holder of two patents and a trademark on the one hand, and CARBTECH, distributor in France from a Dutch company ATWT. The origin of the conflict relates to a patent and trademark infringement case that we will not develop. In addition to its claims in this regard, PLAISANCE EQUIPEMENT also sues CARBTECH for unfair competition for breach of the GDPR.
Its argument is that by not complying with the regulations in force in its commercial activity, CARBTECH benefited from a competitive advantage generating a commercial problem involving prejudice.
Indeed, unfair competition is based on the general principle of liability, requiring damage, a generating event and a causal link between the two.
The Court recalled a previous decision of the Supreme Court of March 17, 2021 according to which “constitutes an act of unfair competition the non-compliance with regulations in the exercise of a commercial activity, which necessarily induces an undue competitive advantage. for its author.
CARBTECH’s conviction is based on its violation of the law on “confidence in the digital economy”, due to a lack of information in its legal notices; on the violation of the consumer code; and on the violation of the European regulation on data protection for the absence of a confidentiality charter made available to the public.
The decision of the Court is very severe since it condemns CARBTECH to the tune of 15,000€ for the various acts of unfair competition.
It is not possible at this stage to say whether this decision will be followed and/or confirmed. But it reinforces the need to ask the right questions as soon as a commercial website is online, or data collection is expected.