A formal warning is a method of asserting out of court claims for forbearance, e.g. from the distribution or use of copyright material, the use of a third-party trademark or ineffective GTB, without which legal practice would be unthinkable. It is often a great nuisance to recipients, but it is usually the fastest and most cost-effective means for its authors to assert their claims. We specialise in handling formal warnings. We have represented our clients successfully in hundreds of such cases, on both sides.
We are therefore the right contact for formal warnings and a reliable partner at your side. Following an examination of the relevant circumstances, we always provide exhaustive advise on the chances and risks of defending or issuing formal warnings.
Should third parties behave illegally, we advise our clients to issue a formal warning, particularly in the following cases:
- Infringement of competition regulations (UWG) by competitors - e.g. by misleading consumers, using inadmissible GTB or insufficient notification of the right of cancellation, insufficient publication details or deliberately misleading competitors;
- Trademark infringement - e.g. by using the brand name or similar designations on third-party websites or in printed media;
- Infringement of design rights, e.g. of a protected product design as a registered design under the German Design Act or as an unregistered European design;
- Breach of copyright - e.g. by the illicit publication, reproduction or distribution of work protected by copyright (music, speech, computer programs, images, films, etc.).
At the same time, we examine claims appended to the infringement, such as the claim for disclosure of the type and extent of the infringement, destruction and compensation. Of course, we also assert such claims within the scope of formal warnings.
When providing a defence against formal warnings, we also always examine the possibility of an amicable settlement in the form of a composition, to clear up the matter quickly, should our clients so desire.
When defending clients against formal warnings, we focus on the following:
- Examination of and defence against formal warnings under competition law - e.g. in the case of warnings about infringements of competition, obstruction of competitors, or about webshops or eBay offers because of ineffective GTB clauses, missing notifications of the right of cancellation or insufficient details of the product;
- Examination of and defence against formal warnings under trademark or name rights law - e.g. the alleged use of third-party trademarks on the internet or misappropriation of a name;
- Examination of and defence against formal warnings about the alleged infringement of design rights, e.g. in the use of a protected third-party product design;
- Examination of and defence against formal warnings in the field of copyright - e.g. mass formal warnings about file sharing.