Anyone who advertises on his website with inadmissible content and information can be warned with costs and claimed for immediate cease and desist. Every entrepreneur must therefore comply with the provisions of the Unfair Competition Act (UWG) in commercial dealings.
What does such a warning contain?
As a rule, the person warned is requested to submit a cease-and-desist declaration with a penalty clause, in which he undertakes out of court to refrain from the anti-competitive behavior in the future. In addition, he is usually asked to bear the (legal) costs incurred and, if applicable, to pay damages.
If the warned party does not submit the cease-and-desist declaration within the deadline, the claimant can enforce the claims in court, e.g. by means of an injunction.
The following information, for example, may lead to a justified warning:
a.) Health or disease-related information
b.) Advertising with misleading statements, for example:
aa.) claims such as “best-selling” or “cheapest” provider, if these are not objectively correct/verifiable
bb.) Claims such as “environmentally friendly” or “organic” if these do not meet the general criteria
cc.) Incorrect or insufficient price information
dd.) Advertising with self-evident statements
In addition, however, there are numerous other infringing statements that can lead to a justified warning.
Who can issue a warning?
The warning can be issued by your competitors, but also by trade associations or competition associations/centres.
Who bears the costs of the warning?
Pursuant to Section 12 (1) of the German Unfair Competition Act (UWG), the person warned must reimburse the costs of the warning if the warning was issued lawfully.
Defense against the warning
You should check whether
a.) the warning is lawful or, for example, formulated too broadly
b.) whether you can issue an amended (modified) cease-and-desist declaration, if necessary
c.) your website contains further infringing content and this may have to be adapted.
If you need help with the receipt of a warning notice under competition law or if you would like to make your website legally compliant, you are welcome to contact us.