UK landmark judgment regarding blocking access to websites selling counterfeit goods

UK_landmark_judgmen-50x50On 17 October 2014 the High Court in London delivered a landmark judgment establishing that trademark owners can secure court orders blocking websites that are structured to infringe trademark rights by selling counterfeit goods online.

The claimant Richemont sought a court order requiring UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to websites selling counterfeit goods. The UK has already had a number of court orders requiring ISPs to block access to websites providing access to infringing copyright content, but this is the first time an order has been granted for counterfeit goods.

UK legislation has no specific provisions for such an injunction to be granted in the trademark context. The action against the infringement of copyright content relied on a particular provision of the UK Copyright Designs & Patents Act that specifically implemented Article 8(3) of the EU Copyright Directive.

The court has concluded that ISPs 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.

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