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Amendment to the Commercial Code

The implemented legislative changes apply to unfair competition.

The amendment is primarily focused on efficiently combating so-called catalogue frauds as a type of misleading conduct. The new rules were included in Section 46 as a new subsection five. Since a competitive relationship between companies offering catalogue advertising and parties suffering detriment normally does not exist, the amendment extends both the general clause of Section 44(1) and the meritory definition of unfair advertisement in section 45(1) to include conduct in “standard” business transactions, in addition to competitive conduct.

At the same time, the impact of the protection against unfair competition in the said provisions extends to other customers in addition to competitors and consumers. This broader definition thus includes businesses that are not parties committing any unfair conduct in carrying out business as well as legal entities that are not businesses. The provisions will have to be interpreted in the context of the new definition of the term consumer as per other laws (see below), i.e. just as a natural person.

The new provision of Section 55, applicable to any type of unfair conduct, constitutes a substantial change. The provisions set forth that any agreement or any part thereof shall be held null and void if the ban on unfair competition is breached upon the execution thereof pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Commercial Code.

The amendment was published on 21 May 2010 under No. 152/2010 Coll. and takes legal force and effect on 1 July 2010.

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