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AG Ludwigsburg on abuse of rights in Google Fonts warnings

This post is also available in: Deutsch

In the area of data protection, warnings and legal disputes occur time and again. For example, the Ludwigsburg Local Court recently ruled in a judgment with the file number 8 C 1361/22 that there was an abuse of rights in the pursuit of claims under data protection law. Specifically, this case involved cease-and-desist letters regarding the use of Google Fonts on websites.

The court clarified that the prohibition of legal abuse also applies in the area of data protection law and that the evaluations of Section 8c UWG can be used. Care must therefore be taken to ensure that warning letters are not aimed solely at collecting as many payments as possible, but at enforcing legal claims.

In addition, the court classified a specific case structure as an abuse of rights. Anyone who sends at least 217,540 cover letters with a payment demand of EUR 170.00 each in the period from September 14, 2022 to October 20, 2022 (undisputed in the court proceedings) has an interest in generating revenue in the foreground. This shows that the number of warning letters can also be an indication of an abuse of rights.

As a 3rd guiding principle, the court also clarified that the payment of a comparatively small amount can also justify the accusation of legal abuse. Anyone who allows himself to be bought out of the cease-and-desist claim by paying an amount of EUR 170.00 is therefore also acting in abuse of rights.

The ruling of the Ludwigsburg Local Court makes it clear that companies and individuals in the field of data protection must be careful that their actions do not give rise to accusations of legal abuse. In particular, cease-and-desist letters should not be aimed solely at generating revenue, but at enforcing legal claims.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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