Our firm recently got a warning letter (Abmahnung) from attorney Filipp J. A. Bickel, who represents various photographers.
The warning is based on a claimed infringement of copyright which was determined by the company photoclaim.com.
The warning is in English, even though the warning is from attorney Filipp Bickel, a german attormey.
Take the warning by attorney Bickel serious
His warnings have to be taken serious. Photoclaim.com, the company which is behind the research of the copyright infringement is a company, is a small german company, specialized in research for copyright infringements.
Good means of defence
Even if an infringement of copyright has taken place and a picture was used unjustly, good means of defence against the warning letter itself and the costs claimed by attorney Bickel exist.
Warning could be not effective
After having examined the warning our firm came to the conclusion that good means of defence exist. Attorney Bickel uses a legally wrong formulated warning and declaration to cease and desist. According to article §97a in the German copyright his warning could be ineffective.
Unjustifiably high costs
In our view the claimed lump sum is too high. The evidence of the damage rate of the MFM (an association of photo-marketing) is not suitable to justify the sum of the damage. The highest German Court BGH decided the verdict that the list of the MFM should not be used in general.
Photoclaim is a young company from Berlin which is specialised in the prosecution of copyright infringements. Photographers retain the services of photoclaim to prosecute the copyright infringements. Photoclaim is advertising their asserted success, but it primarily concerns interim injunctions. These interim injunctions however only confirm that a infringement of copyright has taken place. The company works on a success basis.
Even though reasonable doubts do exist you must not ignore the warning. It is important to defend youself. If you do not act correctly in this case, consequential costs might be imcured.
Guidance of Attorney Hoesmann
As an attorney for IP law with the focus on copyright law, I recommend to not ignore the warning letter. If you do not act promptly, could have grounds to assert his claims in court. That could involve great and unnecessary additional charges.
Do not sign without examination
We cannot recommend signing the pre-formulated declaration to cease and desist enforced by penalty handed out by attorney Bickel without examination. It contains of too onerous phrasing.
Do not panic!
- do not sign without examination
- do not contact the opposite party or firm
- do not pay immediately
- ask for help
We already successfully defended many clients against similar warnings letters and always found good solutions for our clients.
Our expertise, your benefits
Our german law firm is specialised in IP and copyright law and we successfully defended more than 1000 clients in copyright proceedings.
We would like to help you as such we provide clear upfront information on the costs that will be imcured.