Warning about Google Fonts - How you should react

We have already informed you about a decision of the Munich I Regional Court (judgment of January 20, 2022, Case No. 3 O 17493/20), in which the Regional Court ruled that the dynamic use of Google Fonts without the consent of the website visitor is generally illegal.

Compensation for pain and suffering when using Google Fonts?

The Munich Regional Court I awarded the plaintiff in these proceedings a claim for damages for pain and suffering in the amount of €100.00. It found the encroachment on the plaintiff's general right of personality with regard to the loss of control over a personal data (IP address) to Google to be so significant that a claim for damages was justified.

Some of those "affected" are now using this decision, in some cases with the support of lawyers and in others without legal assistance, to assert claims for damages for pain and suffering in various amounts. In some cases, claims for deletion, disclosure and injunctive relief are also being asserted.

Whether the decision of the Munich I Regional Court is legally "correct" is currently the subject of controversial discussion. Especially since the dynamic integration of Google Fonts is obviously determined technically and not by the allegedly affected parties. By no means does this ruling represent the unambiguous legal position. Furthermore, your case also involves a (somewhat) different set of facts, so that this decision is not applicable anyway.

The font directory of Google (Google Fonts) is very popular and many websites and online stores use the Google Fonts. Since the dynamic integration of Google Fonts is quickly established and the requests for payment and warnings can be asserted with standardized texts, the wave of warnings is rolling.

The wave of warnings rolls

For some time now, we have been receiving requests for payment and warning letters from clients with subject lines such as "Warning letter due to dynamic integration of Google Fonts" or "Infringement of privacy rights "Google Fonts"" or "Unlawful disclosure of personal data". Currently, we have received warning letters in particular from attorney Kilian Lenard and the RAAG law firm, Dikigoros Nikolaos Kairis.

How to react correctly

As with any warning or demand for payment, it is important to remain calm. Do not let yourself be intimidated. Just because the letter may come from a lawyer or the reprimanded behavior seems understandable to you, does not necessarily mean that the legal opinion expressed is correct.

Make a note of the deadlines specified in the letter and contact a specialist attorney for information technology law with the warning. He or she can check the payment request or warning letter for you and advise you in detail. Since the warning usually sets very short deadlines, contact a specialist lawyer as soon as you receive the warning. But even if the deadline in the warning has expired, contact a specialist lawyer. He or she will know what to do and will prevent you from falling into an "expensive trap".

If you have received a demand for payment or a warning notice, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with individual legal advice.

GoldbergUllrich Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 2022

Michael Ullrich, LL.M. (Information Law)
Attorney at Law
Specialist attorney for intellectual property law
Specialist attorney for information technology law