Abmahnung | Written Warning

W/M/W LLP | Experts for Experts.

The "Abmahnung"[1], a written warning under German Law, is the formal request by one party to another party to forthwith stop a certain behavior in an unfair competition, trademark, copyright or other IP Law related matter. In Germany 90% of all infringements and disputes in the areas of competition law, trademark and copyright law are settled by such warning procedure.

The "Abmahnung" is thought to be a simple, fast and a very cost efficient way to settle a dispute without the need to refer the matter to a court. Between private parties, it is used much more than a consent decree is in the USA, since German law permits a wide range of parties to file a suit to bring an end to an observed action done by a third party, whereas in the USA the requirements for a party's standing to sue are more restrictive. The "Abmahnung" however can be misused in certain aspects as to hinder a competitor or to gain money.

We advise and develop individual defense strategies as well as unique individual tactics for effective judicial actions if you received a warning notice in an unfair competition, trademark or copyright case. If you received a cease and desist order in an intellectual property or unfair competition issue and if you do not understand the remedies raised against you and you have no clue about the „Strafbewehrte Unterlassungs- und Verpflichtungserklärung“, the declaration to cease and desist, we will check the actual circumstances and advise you of your options.

If a party signs such declaration, which is attached to the "Abmahnung" as a draft in most cases, a binding settlement agreement with multiple long term effects is concluded. It is nearly impossible to end such an agreement later. For this reason no declaration to cease and desist should be signed without legal assistance.

We also assist you to enforce your rights with emphasis against any infringement party to restore a fair competition on the market or to end an infringement of your IP-rights, such as copyrights or trademarks.

Did you receive a "Abmahnung" ?
The Lawyers of W/M/W LLP are experts for handling such cases. We act quickly since response deadlines set in such letters can be extremely short.

A "Abmahnung" does not need to carry the word "Abmahnung". It may be called "Schutzrechtsverwarnung", "Verwarnung", "Copyright Infringement Warning", "Trademark Infringement Warning", "Warning Notice", "Final Written Warning", "Official Written Warning" or else.

We handle most cases related to "Abmahnungen" for fixed prices according to the Code of Lawyers Fees, Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz (RVG).

[1] The term "Abmahnung" can refer to different meanings in German. In a legal context it might also refer to a written letter issued by an employer to his employee. The above text refers to "Abmahnungen" in the context of unfair competition, intellectual property or media cases under German law only.