CJEU: Operators of Physical Marketplaces May be Forced to Stop Trademark Infringements of Market Traders
In a decision issued on July 7, 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established that operators of physical marketplaces may be required to put an end to infringements committed by market traders and take measures to prevent new infringements.
The decision follows the Czech Supreme Court’s request for clarification addressed to the CJEU concerning a pending case. Namely, Tommy Hilfiger Licensing and Others initiated a lawsuit against Delta Center (a company that sublets market space in Prague to third parties) after discovering counterfeit products sold in various sales areas. The plaintiff asked the Czech Supreme Court to issue an order preventing Delta Center from renting market space to third parties selling counterfeit goods. The Czech Supreme Court requested clarification from CJEU on whether it was possible to order physical marketplace operators to stop such infringements, as it is possible to order online marketplace operators.
In response to the request, the CJEU issued a decision confirming that physical marketplace operators must be classified as “intermediaries” and that it is irrelevant whether the sales point is an online or physical marketplace. The court stated that the conditions for an injunction against an intermediary that provides physical sales space to third parties are identical to those applicable to injunctions addressed to intermediaries in online marketplaces.
Prepared by: Roxana Sarghi
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Source: CJEU press release
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