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17 May 2013

MoU on sale of counterfeits online works, but constant vigilance is needed

The European Commission has issued its report on the functioning of the MoU on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods via the Internet. Signed in 2011, the purpose of the MoU is to establish a code of practice in the fight against the sale of counterfeit goods online and to enhance collaboration among its signatories. The report shows that the approach adopted by the MoU works, but highlights the need for internet platforms and rights holders to remain alert.

04 March 2013

EURid's latest progress report: '.euphoria' in 2012

EURid has announced in its latest progress report that registrations under the ‘.eu’ TLD in the third quarter of 2012 grew by more than 7% for the second consecutive quarter. The third quarter's net growth rate of 7.4% was consistent with the second quarter's 7.6% result and took the total number of domain names registered under ‘.eu’ to 3.67 million.

27 July 2012

ECJ endorses AG opinion on preventing sham licensees applying for '.eu' domain names

In Pie Optiek v Bureau Gevers, the ECJ has endorsed the opinion of Advocate General Trstenjak concerning the registration of '.eu' domain names by licensees of prior rights. The ECJ held that the term 'licensee of prior rights' does not refer to a person who has been authorised by a trademark owner solely to register, in his name but on behalf of the owner, a domain name identical or similar to the mark, without being authorised to use that mark commercially.

21 July 2012

ECJ clarifies trademark licensing conditions, but decision may have limited impact

The ECJ has ruled in a case that tackles the question of whether it is acceptable for a company with no EU presence to licence its EU trademark rights to an EU-based company purely for the purpose of registering an ‘.eu’ domain name. While a useful decision, one commentator expects that it will have limited impact.

21 May 2012

AG opinion on '.eu' domain names favourable to operators established in the EU

In Pie Optiek v Bureau Gevers, Advocate General Trstenjak has opined on the interpretation of Article 12(2) of Regulation 874/2004 relating to public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of '.eu' top-level domains and the principles governing their registration - and, in particular, the registration of an '.eu' domain name by licensees of prior rights.

04 May 2012

Growth in '.eu' domain names as extension celebrates sixth anniversary

According to the latest quarterly progress report from EURid, the ‘.eu’ registry, at the end of 2011 there were a total of 3.5 million ‘.eu’ registered domain names, representing growth of 5.5% when compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. Even though ‘.eu’ was launched six years ago, not all issues relating to the registration rules have been resolved, and one case in particular, known as Pie Optiek, is still pending before the ECJ.

27 April 2012

ECJ rules on appropriate jurisdiction in keywords cases

In Wintersteiger AG v Products 4U Sondermaschinenbau GmbH, the ECJ has held that an action for infringement of a trademark registered in one member state against an advertiser using a keyword identical to that mark on a search engine operating under the ccTLD of another member state may be brought in either the courts in the jurisdiction where the mark is registered, or the courts in the jurisdiction where the advertiser is established.

06 March 2012

Advocate general considers issue of jurisdiction in AdWord case

Advocate General Cruz Villalón has delivered his opinion in Wintersteiger AG v Products 4U Sondermaschinenbau GmbH, a request for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Article 5(3) of Council Regulation 44/2001. The question was whether the Austrian courts had jurisdiction to hear this AdWord case - and, in particular, how the phrase “place where the harmful event occurred or may occur” in Article 5(3) was to be interpreted.

16 February 2012

Advocate general addresses the issue of jurisdiction in keyword cases

In a busy day in Luxembourg, two advocate general opinions have been handed down, with one specifically tackling the difficulties posed by the national territorial nature of a trademark “and the potentially ubiquitous nature of an infringement committed in another member state via the internet”.

08 February 2012

Will Saturday’s day of action send ACTA the same way as SOPA?

A day of action against the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement is scheduled to take place across Europe on Saturday (February 11). Those intending to protest against the international treaty hope that their actions will lead to the agreement being quashed, or at the very least postponed, as happened with the SOPA and PIPA bills recently.

30 September 2011

Interflora: sweet smell of success or muted victory for trademark owners?

In Interflora Inc v Marks & Spencer Plc, the ECJ has provided some clarification on the scope of trademark protection where a competitor uses a registered trademark as a keyword. The decision highlights the need to balance fair competition with the rights of a trademark owner.

22 September 2011

ECJ’s Interflora ruling: Google the real winner?

The ECJ has given its ruling in Interflora v Marks & Spencer, the latest in a series of decisions on the issue of keyword advertising. It is still not clear which party will emerge victorious when the case is decided by the High Court of England and Wales, but the decision will be welcomed by Google.

15 July 2011

ECJ issues warning to online marketplace operators

In L’Oréal SA v eBay International AG, the ECJ has provided clarification on the liability of companies operating internet marketplaces for trademark infringement committed by users, holding that, in certain circumstances, the operator can be liable for trademark infringement as a result of the postings of its users.

12 July 2011

eBay says it “can live with” today’s major ECJ judgment

Online marketplace eBay has said it “can live with” today’s judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the ongoing litigation brought against it by L’Oréal. eBay told WTR that it was hoping for more clarity on a number of points, but that the ruling in general reflects “what eBay already does” with regard to stopping the sale of counterfeits on its platform.

28 March 2011

Mixed bouquet for M&S as AG gives opinion on keyword advertising

In Interflora Inc v Marks & Spencer plc, the advocate general has stated that advertisers should be able to "bid" on competitors' famous trademarks in search engine keyword advertising in order to present themselves as a commercial alternative. However, plaintiff Interflora may well ultimately prevail as a result of its unique circumstances.