17:45 Uhr

The case Heidi and Guenther K.

{lang: 'de'}

— Translation edited January 5nd 2006 08:48 —

On a snowy Christmas morning I checked my email and discovered among the usual heap of spam, one message that caught my attention. Entitled Markenrecht (which translates as branding rights) it appeared to be sent by none other than Guenther Klum, the father and manager of international top-model and megabrand heidi Klum. So, I thought, I’d take a look.

– The quoted letters are nor literal translation. In my experience word-for-word translations fall short of their ultimate goal, namely to accurately share with readers the meaning of the original message. Therefore this translation, approved by me [Patrick], reflects the message and tone, although not each word, of the original German letter. – See the original mails here. –

The name Heidi Klum is protected by law ® and TM. Im asking you to delete the name from your URL and desist from using the name Heidi Klum for advertising purposes. I have set January 2nd 2006 as a deadline for compliance.

Thank you for understanding my point of view.

Guenther Klum


I was perplexed that the father of the brand Heidi Klum if he indeed was the real Mr. Klum would be sending me such a lovely christmas note (the mail reached me 26 December 2005 04:40 am). At first I ignored the mail completely. However now it is near New Years Eve and Guenther Klum’s ultimatum is about to expire. Im at a loss what to do. I have no idea what Mr. Klum wants from me. I didnt misuse the precious name of his dear daughter for selfish promotion purposes. Should I delete the post which contains the word Heidi Klum? Hey, this might be the Chinese or Cuban way to handle the freedom of speech. But here in good old Germany? The country which learned democracy and the freedom of press from scratch? Maybe an intelligent lawyer can help me out and can give me some hints in which way I shall behave in this case. Shall I defer to Mr. Klump or shall I pick up his gauntlet to meet him on a lonesome hill by dawn? Damn, I have no fugleman.

Then I received another mail:


Thank you for your fast blank answer (– our E-Mail responder –), this shows me that you didnt
deal with the problem. Please make sure that you meet the deadline.
Thank you very much.
Guenther Klum


My response:


Dear Mr. Klum,
I quote:

[Untranslateable; main statement of the law is that mentioning or refering to a trademark is ok, while utilization is not. The owner of the trademark can demand removal of the disturbance in the latter case and can file for injunctive relief.]

Referring to this, I dont see any reason why I should delete some articles in our Weblog
only because you told me to do this. It must be a mistake on your part.
Thank you very much.

With kind regards
Patrick Breitenbach


His response was not long im coming:


Dear Mr. Breitenbach,

thank you for your information and your instructions.
My lawyers gave me some other information so I surrender it to them to clear this case.
Lets be curious together.

Guenther Klum


So please! Who will be my second?

Lino (aka Timo Kissing) summarized the following events with the title „The beauty and the blog“ (English). Keep on reading and writing!

Thanks to lino, Andrea and Bjoern for their support.

+++ UPDATE January 5nd 2006 08:48: Open letter to Heidi Klum +++

Schlagworte (Tags):

12 Kommentare

  1. Micro Persuasion

    Hey Blogger, Get Your Hands Off My Supermodel DaughterAccording to this post, the father of supermodel Heidi Klum is allegedly going after a German blogger who once used her name in the title his post and subsequently, the post’s distinct URL. Technorati Tags: Legal, Heidi Klum, Trademarks

  2. Domiziano Galia

    Apart from the weirding (and arrogance) of the thing the question is very simple to me: „Heidi Klum“ may even be a trademark, but is also, simply and obviously, a name. So the point is that you were talking about the name not the trademark. Or even more you were talking about the words „Heidi“ and „Klum“. With no regards for Mr. Klum („Klum“ the word obviously).

  3. Micro Persuasion

    Hey Blogger, Get Your Hands Off My Supermodel DaughterAccording to this post, the father of supermodel Heidi Klum is allegedly going after a German blogger who once used her name in the title his post and subsequently, its distinct URL. Technorati Tags: Heidi Klum, Legal, Trademarks


    HEIDI KLUM HEIDI KLUM HEIDI KLUM HEIDI KLUMPatrick Breitenbach del blog collettivo Werbeblogger ha ricevuto un cease & desist dal padre di una nota supermodella che richiedeva di cancellare il nome della suddetta e desistere dal continuare ad usarlo per "fini p…

  5. Today's Top Opinion

    Supermodel Dad Fights Blogger After posting “Heidi Klum is damn HOT,” its starting to look like her dad is bringing down her hotness after reading this comment. The reader points us to this post about a German blogger getting pursued by Heidi Klum’s dad Guenther …

  6. The Blog Herald: more blog news more often

    Have the Germans gone crazy?Hot off the heals of the Sozialgericht Bremen case, another bizarre C&D case out of Germany with blogger Patrick Breitenbach receiving a Cease and Desist notice from the father of Supermodel Heidi Klum for the crime of featuring her name in his post UR…

  7. vowe dot net

    The beauty and the blogSara Radicati is no longer the only one able to shoot her foot off with the help of a friendly blogger. Now it’s Heidi Klum’s father holding his foot at gun point and feverishly pulling the trigger. German readers know this story already (translated he…

  8. En nu even ernstig

    Heidi KlumVeel gekker moeten de Duitsers het niet meer maken. Na het Sozialgericht Bremen heeft nu

  9. Brian

    It’s hard to take e-mail threats seriously. If he does employ lawyers, you’ll need to employ your own to make reply.

    Overall, best of luck. I’m not sure what laws you are allegedly infringing, but it’s hard to see how a URL alone could be construed as violation of Trademark in other countries.

  10. If..Else Log

    Heidi Klum and the battle with blogs Oh Heidi, how could you let your father do such a thing?

  11. Kitmeout

    Heidi Klum, supermodel and wife of singing sensation Seal is now an international footwear designer too. Heidi Klum has recently finished her 3rd footwear collection for Birkenstock. This collection, according to Birkenstock, is her most glamorous take on Birkenstock sandals to date and includes:

    Madrid Diamond feature metallic grained leather uppers in gold or silver appliqued with rhinestones and crystal hearts.

    Saphire, Heidis two-strap sandal features two-tone metallic leather uppers, adorned with rivets and rhinestones. This style is available in three colour combinations: gold/silver, pink/silver and green/blue.

    All sandals had their traditional cork-latex footbed covered in matching metallic leathers and come with a silver plated Heidi Klum pendant.

    An objective on-looker might deduce that Birkenstock are moving away from their traditional eco-conscious and green customer base and are attempting to woo a new affluent and trendy customer who would easily empathise with the glamourous profile and, indeed, lifestyle of Heidi Klum and Seal. Lets face it, the traditional Birkenstock customer has probably never even heard of Heidi Klum and is more likely to empathise with Ghandi or St Francis. So is this a conscious decision by Birkenstock to move away from their traditional carrot-crunching customer base or are they simply attempting to be all things to all people? The latter is perhaps the more plausible answer and who can blame them for wanting to achieve global dominance just like every other high-profile brand.

    Nonetheless, part of us all longs for a brand free from celebrity and stardom, a brand pure, free and simple a brand reminiscent of the hippie era. Birkenstock used to be that brand. Maybe a new celebrity-free Brand Messiah will come forward and fill the void suggestions in writing please.

  12. Heidi Klum, ihr Pappa und die ganze Welt

    […] Werbeblogger hat gleich mal reagiert und eine englische Version seines Beitrags […]

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