Trademark litigation and warning letter

Trademark infringement in Germany and Europe

In trademark infringement proceedings, the proprietor of an earlier trademark usually tries to obtain a preliminary injunction and a compensation of damages against the trademark infringer. According to the German and European trademark regulations, a person must not use (without the consent of the trademark proprietor) an identical or similar sign for such goods or services which are identical or similar to those for which the earlier mark enjoys protection, if there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public.

1. What do I do if I received a warning letter?

A warning letter for a possible trademark infringement usually includes a request to sign a declaration to cease and desist within a specified term. If the declaration is not signed within the given term, the addressee is usually threatened with a legal action. Often, the warning letter also includes an invoice for attorney fees.

If you have received a warning letter for trademark infringement, the circumstances of the case have to be examined thoroughly. To that end, we will need a copy of the warning letter and your comments on the circumstances. Please contact us. Our European trademark attorneys will be happy to advise you and verify, if the warning letter is justified at all.

2. What costs are incurred by a warning letter?

In connection with a warning letter, the underlying party has to bear the cost of the out of court proceedings, including the cost of the other party. The amount in dispute is typically set to about € 50,000 or € 100,000 €. The attorney fees are calculated based on the amount in dispute, wherein usually a 1.3-fold business fee will be charged.

In case of an amount in dispute of € 50,000, attorney fees of about € 1,400 per attorney will fall due. For a value of € 100,000, the attorney fees will amount to approximately € 1,800 per attorney.

3. What are the legal costs of a suit for trademark infringement?

Trademark litigation proceedings are held before a public court, wherein the court fees and attorney fees are calculated depending on the amount in dispute. The underlying party has to bear the cost of the proceedings, including the cost of the other party. The amount in dispute is typically set to about € 50,000 or € 100,000 € by the court. Based on a value of € 50,000, the cost risk for the first instance (District Court) is approximately € 14,000 and for the second instance (Court of Appeal) around € 16,000. In case of a value of € 100,000, the cost risk will be about € 19,000 and € 22,000 for the first and second instance, respectively.

In case of questions about trademark infringement procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Trademark Attorneys in Munich will be happy to advise you.