Peter McGee, who planned to publish parts of the anti-Semitic book alongside commentary from historians, vowed to appeal against the decision but said he would respect the ruling and refrain from publication for now.
The court in the city of Munich ruled in favour of the southern state of Bavaria, which holds the rights to all publications from the main Nazi publishing house and had sought to block the book’s appearance.
“He has been dead for 70 years but Adolf Hitler is still keeping the courts busy,” the regional court in Munich said in a statement.
Confirming an earlier decision from January, the court concluded: “To shorten a work and add explanations and comments does not give rights over the… published original work.”
McGee said he “regretted the ruling and would appeal to a higher court”.
“We respect the decision of the regional court and will refrain from putting ‘the unreadable book’ – a scientific essay about Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ with quotes from this work – onto news-stands,” he said.
“At the same time, we believe the court’s decision was wrong.”
“Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”), written when Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison, combines elements of autobiography and sets out his views on Aryan “racial purity”, his hatred of Jews and his opposition to communism.
It is not banned as such in Germany but since the end of World War II, Bavaria – which holds the rights until 70 years after the dictator’s death in 2015 – has not permitted reprints.
McGee has been involved in disputed projects in Germany before. In 2009, he caused a stir when he began selling reprints of the Nazi propaganda newspaper Völkischer Beobachter (People’s Observer), again with comments from historians.
In that case, Bavaria launched a legal challenge to the series but succeeded only in blocking the sale of editions from after the war’s outbreak in 1939.