Case Law Update: Blocking a website for TM infringement

Dispute Resolution - 1 minute read

The High Court has granted an order requiring five Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  to block certain websites which advertised and sold goods infringing the claimants’ trade marks, applying its decision in October 2014 to extend website-blocking orders to websites that infringe trade marks.

In the original Cartier case (against British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and others – “Cartier I “the Court held that it had jurisdiction to extend such website-blocking orders, which had previously been granted in relation to copyright-infringing websites, to cover websites that infringed trade marks.

The Defendants argued that the threshold conditions requiring that ISPs’ services were used to infringe, and that ISPs had actual knowledge of infringing activity, were not met.  But it had been shown that the websites could have been accessed using the defendants’ services, and held they did had sufficient knowledge, having received the claimant’s evidence. The judge considered an injunction would be proportionate, having regard to the effect it would have on third parties, including end users.

ThatCartier I case is under appeal. 

The case: Cartier v BT ([2016] EWHC 339 

Trade mark and other intellectual property owners whose rights are being infringed on third party websites should consider applying for blocking orders against relevant Internet Service Providers to block the infringing website, following a recent ruling.