Frankfurt am Main Regional Court: Atty Dr. Seyfert wins an interim injunction to the benefit of the dean of an elite French university against a former German student (Ref. 2-03 O 489/19)

Attorney at Law Dr. Seyfert recently obtained an injunction against a former German student at the Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main on behalf of the dean and another professor of an elite French university, which is currently being enforced by way of compulsory enforcement. At the university, more than 1,000 MBA students, 200 Executive MBA candidates, 80 PhD students and 12,000 executives from 130 countries were taught by 145 professors in 2016. This university is considered to be one of the most important business schools in the world. People from Germany who study there often later become executives in German companies or go into politics.

The defendant is a former student from Germany. Our client had initially barred the defendant from all campuses as well as from the university’s residential facilities for a fortnight for threatening the security of the university. Because the defendant’s behavior did not improve subsequently, and he continued to violate the university’s code of conduct (e.g. he indirectly made death threats against one of the professors in writing and used inappropriate words while also displaying a questionable image of women on social media), our client permanently and definitively excluded the defendant from all of its programs. In revenge for his exclusion, the defendant subsequently created a website on which he was unauthorized to reproduce the photos of the dean and another professor of the university and made negative comments about them.

Attorney Dr. Seyfert applied for an interim injunction in a speedy trial with the Frankfurt am Main Regional Court against the former student and was granted full justice in the summary proceedings. The defendant is not allowed to simply post images of the dean and another professor on his website without their permission. This violates our clients’ rights to their own image, which is protected in the German Art Copyright Act (KUG), specifically in § 22 KUG. The specific presentation of the images on the defendant’s website was also not a contemporary event so that the publication of the images could not be justified under § 23(1) No. 1 KUG.

Because the defendant is unreasonable, he did not delete the images from his website despite the issuance and service of the interim injunction on him. Attorney Dr. Seyfert has therefore already commenced enforcement proceedings according to § 890 of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) and applied for the imposition of a substantial fine on the defendant. In the event of non-payment, the defendant will face an arrest and imprisonment.