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Preventive cease-and-desist declaration? Never without advice!

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Non-lawyers are usually only familiar with the catchword “warning letter”. In fact, however, there may also be a so-called preventive cease-and-desist declaration. However, this must be taken with a grain of salt, neatly formulated in detail, and its consequences considered for the next 30 years.

Just last week I was able to help a client and her managing director with a preventive cease-and-desist declaration. The opponent issued the wrong warning, namely only the managing director (without mentioning any alleged derivative liability) at the company’s address.

In this way, I was able to completely avoid legal fees for the client and its managing director. However, since such a procedure is not without problems, especially with regard to secondary claims such as information and damages, such a declaration should never be made without advice.

By the way, this also applies to the so-called authorization request, which most non-lawyers have probably not heard of yet. An authorization request asks another to comment on a suspected infringement, and the request is directed only at an exchange of views with the potential infringer and not at direct enforcement of the law. This is necessary to put one in a position to assess whether or not the conduct identified constitutes an infringement of property rights without exposing oneself to the risk of having to give unjustified warnings under certain circumstances. As a rule, there is no reimbursement of costs from the opponent for an authorization request, but under certain circumstances you can quickly put an end to the possibly infringing conduct (faster than if you had to litigate in court) and may even receive the requested cease-and-desist declaration from the opponent.

The authorization request should therefore also be formulated by a lawyer. The costs for this can quickly pay off, purely in business terms. If you receive an authorization request, you should carefully check whether a preventive cease-and-desist declaration might not be useful.

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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