Cease & Desist Letter Abuse

eBay was founded on the belief of fair and open competition. In Germany, competition law states that a company can send a competitor a cease and desist letter when the company feels that the competitor is not complying with German laws. eBay fully supports this rule.

Unfortunately, this rule is sometimes abused. Cease and desist letters are sometimes sent out by parties who have no actual interest in competitive activities, but are instead attempting only to collect a fee. It can be both expensive and time consuming for smaller enterprises to respond to these cease and desist letters, sometimes having a detrimental effect on the business of the cease and desist letter receiver. eBay is strongly against this sort of frivolous, harmful activity.

eBay has long been a proponent of finding a solution to this costly issue. In 2013, competition law changed with the aim to tackle the problem of "Cease & Desist Letter Abuse." The law introduced a cap on the total value of these sorts of claims and a counter-claim for the cease and desist letter receiver. Case law will show if this change is sufficient, but it is already an important step in the right direction.