The reason for the lawsuit before the Federal Court of Justice was the claim for damages by a fitness studio chain operator who felt that the rating was too poor. The Fieldfisher team relied on the provider's quality-driven approach in the proceedings: To prevent manipulation, Yelp uses automated software that checks, among other things, the quality of contributions, trustworthiness and user activity. By classifying contributions as "recommended" and "not recommended", the provider aims to identify those contributions that best reflect the opinions of Yelp users from the large number of responses.
The decision was essential for Yelp and other rating portals. After all, a negative outcome of the proceedings would have put the basis of the business into question. A different ruling by the Munich Higher Regional Court was thus overturned. A large number of similar proceedings have already been brought before courts throughout Germany in recent years. The current BGH ruling strengthens the business model of rating portals overall.
Fieldfisher originally worked for the German rating portal Qype. After its takeover by Yelp in October 2013, the US company continued to rely on the firm. The team around Managing Partner Philipp Plog and Partner Stephan Zimprich subsequently represented Yelp in a number of lawsuits before various courts.
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