Sun, Apr. 05, 2009

Abusive Cease and Desist Demands

CK - Washington.   The abuse in the German business of cease-and-desist demands has accelerated in recent years. Most egregious is its growth in the music and online auction trades, with some attorneys meshing their professional interests with their clients' economic interests - think champerty and barritry.

A peculiar fiction in German law deems cease-and-desist demands to serve the target's interests, thus triggering a liability of the target for the fees of the attorney authoring the demand.

A new study by Cornelius Renner analyzes the evolution and legal issues in the German-language paper Abmahnung--Blaues Auge oder Beinbruch? published at Humboldt Forum Recht. Among Renner's conclusions is that the courts have the means to prevent abuse, that proof of abuse is hard to come by, and that the courts should be more serious about reducing abuse by recognizing de minimis technical violations of arcane rules.


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