18. February 2020

Gutsch & Schlegel: 2 / Facebook: 0

In its ruling of 13 February 2020, case no. 312 O 372/18, the Regional Court of Hamburg decided that our unofficial Facebook law firm profile and the unofficial Facebook page of Thomas Schlegel must be deleted. According to Facebook, unofficial profiles/pages are profiles/pages that Facebook generates automatically if there are no official profiles/pages but Facebook recognizes corresponding user interest in them based on search queries. After we had unsuccessfully requested Facebook to delete the profiles/pages several times out of court, the Regional Court of Hamburg initially issued a corresponding temporary injunction at our request. The Regional Court of Hamburg has now confirmed this order in the main proceedings. The court found that the partnership’s right to carry on the business which it established (company and property rights) was infringed as well as an encroachment on the general right of personality of Thomas Schlegel. The Regional Court of Hamburg also stated

“Since Facebook is not a search service or a business directory, but primarily a social network which is controversial in the public, among other things because of the handling of user data, a law firm, for whose activities confidentiality, seriousness and protection of client data are essential, has a considerable interest in not being associated with such a network against it’s will by existing or potential clients.”