The UK High Court, in a recent ruling, has ordered five of country’s top internet service providers (ISPs) to block sites selling counterfeit goods.
Virgin, BT, EE, BSkyB and TalkTalk have been ordered to block several websites believed to be selling fake Montblanc-Simplo , Cartier International and other Richemont brand products.
The lawsuit was brought in by luxury goods manufacturer Richemont which owns rights of several major brands including Cartier and Montblanc. Richemont argued that the alleged sites were infringing on its trademarks by selling counterfeit products.
The ruling will see ISPs blocking six websites including cartierloveonline.com, hotcartierwatch.com, iwcwatchtop.com, replicawatchesiwc.com, 1iwc.com, montblancpensonlineuk.com and ukmontblancoutlet.co.uk.
A spokesperson for Richemont Cartier welcomed the judgment saying “This case represents a positive step in the fight to protect brands and customers from the sale of counterfeit goods online.”
“We are pleased by this judgment and welcome the Court’s recognition that there is a public interest in preventing trade mark 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 trade marks.”
Richemont stated that the six websites were the first in a line-up of 239,000 potentially infringing sites and that it would not hesitate to add more fake goods selling websites to the list if it finds they are infringing on the company’s trademarks.
“In a comprehensive judgment, the court has considered the enforcement methods that are presently available to trade mark 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,” the law firm representing Richemont noted.