London--The High Court in London ruled Friday that trademark owners now can get court orders to compel Internet service providers (ISPs) to block or otherwise impede access to websites that sell counterfeit versions of their goods. 

The ruling came in a case brought earlier this year by luxury goods conglomerate Richemont, which wanted five of Britain’s largest ISPs providers--BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE--to utilize existing piracy laws to take down seven websites that sell products that infringe upon Richemont trademarks. 

This included a site called CartierLoveOnline.com, which sold knockoffs of Cartier’s popular Love bracelet for less than $100. As of Sunday evening that site appeared no longer to be operational. 

RELATED CONTENT: Richemont wants ISPs to help in counterfeit fight

The argument against Richemont’s request was that the existing piracy laws, designed to combat sites offering illegal downloads of music and movies, were designed for copyright infringement and not trademark infringement, which are two different activities. 

In its 266-page ruling, the court concluded that ISPs play an “essential role” in blocking the sale of counterfeit goods online and that courts can, and should, apply the same type of enforcement to trademark-infringing web sites. 

The ruling was one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and the decision is expected to have an impact on both consumers and trademark owners “well beyond the UK,” said Wiggin, the London-based law firm that represented Richemont in the case. 

In issuing the ruling, the court noted that it is the trademark owners’ responsibility to accurately identify the IP addresses and URLs and then notify the ISPs.  

The complete ruling is available on Bailii.org, the high court’s website.


|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.