Injunctions & competition litigation

Your expert representation in competition litigation

The judicial enforcement and defense of competition law claims is often very time-consuming due to the short limitation periods and urgent deadlines as well as numerous special regulations. Even if the legal situation is clear, competition litigation often fails due to formal reasons alone. In addition, even the slightest mistake can lead to the immediate loss of the case, a counter-attack by the other party, or other irreparable legal consequences.

This is also why competition law claims are initially asserted extrajudicially through a cease-and-desist letter. However, if the cease-and-desist letter remains unsuccessful and there are no prospects for a successful, out-of-court settlement, a legal action to enforce the claims becomes unavoidable. If there is a risk that the plaintiff's rights will continue to be violated due to prolonged proceedings, in addition to the "normal" lawsuit procedure (main proceedings), there is also the possibility of preventing the infringing behavior of the competitor at an early stage by issuing a (preliminary) injunction.

Have you received a unfair competition lawsuit or are you yourself exposed to competition law infringements by a competitor? We at ab&d Rechtsanwälte are happy to support you in the enforcement or defense of competition law claims. As experienced lawyers in competition law, we are at your disposal with our expertise not only as legal advisors, but also at every stage of the proceedings before the competition chambers of the district courts and the relevant senates of the higher regional courts.

Call us now on the telephone number +49 30 36 41 41 90 e-mail us at or use directly our contact form!

Your lawyers for injunctions and competition litigation:

Specialist lawyer for intellectual property rights

Injunctive relief & preliminary injunction

If a c&d letter does not lead to the cessation of unfair conduct, injunctive relief can be enforced in preliminary injunction proceedings. The procedure for issuing an injunction (§ 935 ZPO) is a preliminary judicial process in which interim decisions are made swiftly on injunctive relief for competition law violations, pending a decision in the main proceedings, if and to the extent that these claims are genuinely urgent for the applicant. In cases of injunctive relief, the necessary urgency is presumed by law (§ Section 12 (1) UWG). Other claims, in particular those for the payment of money (legal fees, damages), are not urgent by law and must generally be pursued with an action on the merits. However, the presumption of urgency can also be rebutted in the case of injunctive relief if the claimant takes too much time between discovering the infringement and filing an urgent court application. Depending on the responsible Higher Regional Court district, the permitted time between becoming aware of the competition law violation and filing for a court injunction is four weeks to a maximum of two months.

In preliminary injunction proceedings, a decision by the competent district court can typically be expected within a few days, at most weeks after the application is filed ("normal" competition ligitation usually take months or even years). For the claimant (cf. § Section 8 (3) UWG), this has the advantage that he can obtain a court injunction very quickly and his rights are no longer infringed by the unfair actions of the competitor. For the defendant, this, in turn represents a considerable risk, as non-compliance with the injunction can result in substantial administrative fines of up to € 250,000 per violation.

Many competition law disputes are finally resolved in preliminary injunction proceedings. The parties often accept the provisional decision as part of the interim injunction. The opposing party then submits a so-called final declaration and an out-of-court settlement is reached on the remaining claims (e.g. the reimbursement of legal fees for the c&d letter and compensation for damages).

As lawyers specializing in competition law we represent both claimant as well as affected defendant in every phase of the competition litigation and of course, always keep an eye on settlement options with the competitor. If the unfair behavior of the competitor could not be stopped with a cease-and-desist letter, we will enforce injunctive relief for you nationwide in preliminary injunction proceedings. We prepare defense pleadings for opposing parties or file an objection (§ 924 ZPO) against a preliminary injunction that has already been issued and represent you in oral hearings as well as in the appeal hearings, if this is necessary to defend against the preliminary injunction.

Competition litigation

If the urgency required for an injunction is rebutted or injunctive reliefs are not finally recognized in preliminary injunction proceedings, it is possible to assert the injunctive reliefs in litigation proceedings, the so-called main proceedings (§ Section 8 (1) UWG). Claims for information, reimbursement of legal fees and damages (§ Section 13 (3) UWG) can also be enforced through competition litigation proceedings - especially if they have already been asserted in a c&d letter but have not been fulfilled by the warned party. In the meantime, however, in competition litigation proceedings, there is increasingly a focus on counterclaims of the wrongfully or abusively warned party, as they can also demand reimbursement of costs for their defense by a lawyer (§ Section 8c (3) UWG).

For the defending party, competition litigation is often existential because their own business model may be at stake; this applies in particular to per se illegal (non-marketable) products and false advertising measures, such as advertising with test results or comparative advertising. But: Not everything is forbidden that others want to be forbidden! Quite a few competitors and associations have had to wonder what our legal system allows (and even encourages, because competition is expressly desired in our market economy).

As experienced lawyers specializing in competition law and intellectual property law, we are happy to provide you with comprehensive advice on opportunities and risks of competition law litigation and represent your interests in court with strategic planning and comprehensive expertise. Of course, we will accompany you throughout the entire proceedings, if necessary also up to the conclusion of appeal proceedings in the second instance before the competent higher regional court.