UK Court Orders Internet Providers to Block Websites Selling Counterfeits
On October 17, 2014, Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, Switzerland-based company that sells Cartier watches and other luxury brands, won a United Kingdom court ruling according to which trademark owners in the UK can order Internet providers (ISPs) to prevent access to websites selling counterfeit goods in the same way they block file-sharing websites.
According to TorrentFreak, a blog reporting on the latest news on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, Richemont initiated the lawsuit earlier this year demanding that five UK’s leading ISPs – British Sky Broadcasting Group, TalkTalk, British Telecommunications, EE and Virgin Media block several websites selling counterfeit goods.
The infringing websites are cartierloveonline.com, hotcartierwatch.com, iwcwatchtop.com, replicawatchesiwc.com, 1iwc.com, montblancpensonlineuk.com, ukmontblancoutlet.co.uk. Richemont has also identified additional 239,000 potentially infringing websites that could be added to the list.
“We are pleased by this judgment and welcome the court’s recognition that there is a public interest in preventing trademark infringement, particularly where counterfeit goods are involved. The courts had already granted orders requiring ISPs to block sites for infringement of copyright in relation to pirated content. This decision is a logical extension of that principle to trademarks,” stated a Richemont representative, TorrentFreak informed.
“In a comprehensive judgment, the court has considered the enforcement methods that are presently available to trademark owners when tackling infringement online. The court has concluded that Internet Service Providers play an essential role and that the court can and should apply Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive to require the application of technical measures to impede infringement of trademarks,” lawyers representing Richemont stated.
According to TorrentFreak, the decision is likely to be appealed.
Prepared by: Jelena Jankovic
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Source: TorrentFreak; The Guardian
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