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A negative online review can affect anyone:

  • entrepreneurs such as e-commerce operators, restaurants, hotels, caterers and tradesmen,
  • freelancers such as doctors, architects and tax consultants, or
  • private individuals such as teachers and professors.

BGH: Reviews on review portals are generally permitted

Clients often ask whether they have to tolerate reviews at all. The BGH generally permits reviews (BGH “Spickmich” ruling of 23/06/2009 – VI ZR 196/18 and ruling of 23/09/2014 – VI ZR 358/13). It decided that doctors, companies and self-employed people must in principle allow themselves to be evaluated on public review portals because they generally also offer their services to the public. However, this ruling does not mean that all reviews have to be tolerated. Those concerned still have the option of taking action against illegal online reviews.

Key points legal protection against negative ratings

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Andre Krauslawyer and founder of the  KRAUS GHENDLER RUVINSKIJ law firm, is your contact in matters of company formationtrade mark lawreputation protection and corporate law.