Cease-and-desist letter

Your expert lawyers for cease-and-desist letters in competition law

Almost every entrepreneur (especially in the online sector) has already been confronted with a cease-and-desist letter from a competitor or an association alleging anti-competitive behavior. Cease and desist letters in competition law help to regulate market behavior and make it possible to settle conflicts between business participants out of court, clarify allegations of competition law infringements and prevent further infringements. Even though it is often not perceived as such, they are therefore an important instrument of our legal system to ensure fair competition.

If you have received a cease-and-desist letter or need to issue one to a competitor due to an infringement of competition law, ab&d Rechtsanwälte is the right partner for you! As a law firm specializing in competition law, we offer our expertise to support companies throughout Germany in issuing a cease and desist letter to a competitor, as well as companies that have received a cease and desist letter. We examine your competitors and their offers and issue cease and desist letters in the event of competition law infringements. Moreover, we provide comprehensive advice on competition-compliant behavior and support you in the defense against cease and desist letters under competition law. Our approach is characterized in particular by a clear strategy, clever tactics and individual, personal advice in order to represent the interests of our clients in the best possible way and to enforce their rights in a targeted manner.

Benefit from the expertise of our experienced lawyers for competition law and call us now on the telephone number +49 30 36 41 41 90 e-mail us at kontakt@abd-partner.de or use directly our contact form!

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The cease-and-desist letter in competition law

What is a c&d letter?

In competition law, the c&d letter is an extrajudicial request to refrain from future infringing behavior (e.g. misleading consumers). It can primarily be issued by competitors and qualified trade associations. Usually, a cease and desist letter under competition law also demands the submission of a cease-and-desist declaration with penalty within a certain period of time as well as the reimbursement of the legal fees incurred for the cease and desist letter.

What is a cease-and-desist declaration?

The cease and desist declaration serves to prevent future infringements of competition law by the warned party and to reduce the so-called risk of repetition. By signing the cease-and-desist declaration, the warned party commits to immediately cease the objectionable behavior and refrain from it in the future. A cease-and-desist declaration is considered 'penalized' when a contractual penalty is stipulated in the event of a breach of this declaration.

Defense upon receipt of a c&d letter

You have received a c&d letter and are wondering how to respond? First of all, it is extremely important not to ignore the c&d letter or the deadlines set therein for submitting the cease-and-desist declaration, as otherwise costly competition law proceedings may arise. However, careless actions on your own initiative, such as contacting the other party or signing a pre-formulated cease-and-desist declaration attached to the c&d letter, can also have far-reaching consequences. Instead, it is advisable to seek legal assistance from an expert, especially since not every c&d letter due to an alleged infringement of the provisions of the UWG is justified.

As expert lawyers, we therefore always begin by carefully examining cease-and-desist letters from opponents for their justification.

  • Is there an infringement of competition at all?
  • Is the warned person responsible for the alleged infringement of competition law?
  • Is the party issuing the warning is entitled to claim within the meaning of § Section 8 (3) UWG?
  • Have the formal requirements for a cease-and-desist letter been met?
  • Is there an abusive assertion of claims?

After intensive examination of the c&d letter we will advise you in detail about the existing options and determine the best possible strategy in consultation with you. In some cases, it is advisable to proactively file a protective brief in order to prevent the issuance of a injunction by the warning party (at least temporarily). Alternatively, it may be advisable to submit a (modified) cease-and-desist declaration or to enter into settlement negotiations with the warning party.

After our legal examination, it often turns out that the cease-and-desist letter is at least partially justified. Regardless of the outcome of the warning procedure, it is crucial to prepare for the future and to act in accordance with the applicable fair trading laws, insofar as this is economically feasible. This is the only way to prevent legal proceedings, further warnings, fines and similar in the future.

We will be happy to advise you on any necessary adjustments to your business appearance, products and advertising media as well as on your further activities vis-à-vis competitors. As professional lawyers for competition law, we do not sell you restrictive prohibitions, but stand for a hands-on mentality with priority on your business goals. We don't tell you what's not possible, but rather how to achieve it, in order to best support you in running your company successfully and in compliance with competition laws.

Issuing a c&d letter against a competitor

Competitors often do not adhere to the rules of fair competition. For example, they advertise inadmissibly with top positions ("No. 1") - prohibited under (§ Section 5a para. 1 no. 1 UWG), advertise untrue characteristics of their products or fail to provide important information in their offers (e.g. information on the right of withdrawal for consumers in distance selling, inadmissible under § Section 3a UWG i.V.m. Art. 246 EGBGB). These examples can be extended almost indefinitely.

When competitors gain an unfair competitive advantage through unfair practices , we first check the competitor's conduct for compliance with competition law rules. This also includes offers on large online platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Otto, advertising on Google, online stores and all advertising media. This enables us to obtain a comprehensive picture of your competitor's competitive practices and, based on this, to provide the best possible recommendations for further action.

If this examination reveals that the competitor has violated the rules of fair competition with its actions, it is generally advisable to issue a c&d letter, with which the following claims can basically be asserted:

  • injunctive relief future infringements of competition law by submitting a cease-and-desist declaration subject with penalty ( 13 para. 1 UWG),
  • if applicable, the provision of information on the nature and extent of the infringement of competition (this serves to prepare the quantification of a claim for damages),
  • recognition of the liability for damages, § 9 UWG (as well as payment of the damages to be quantified after the information has been provided) and
  • reimbursement of the legal fees incurred for issuing the c&d letter (reimbursement of warning costs, § Section 13 (3) UWG).

As experienced competition lawyers we know exactly how cease-and-desist letters and the corresponding claims must be formulated, proven and calculated in order to successfully enforce them. In doing so, we set short but reasonable deadlines for the warned competitor in order to avoid further time-consuming and cost-intensive legal disputes. However, in the event of non-compliance, we will of course not hesitate to enforce your claims through competition litigation. Put your trust in our many years of experience and first-class expertise and let us advise you in a free initial consultation, so that you can quickly resume operating in a fair and regulated competitive environment .