Luxury Brand Cartier Seeks New Legal Precedent on Websites Infringing Trademarks

High-end jewellery and watch brand Cartier has launched the first case of its kind with the High Court of Justice - it wants ISPs to block websites that are using its' trademarked logos for counterfeit promotions.

If the injunction wins through, it will be a landmark precedent allowing sites to be blocked over the use of trademarks, rather than just copyright infringements.

The Open Rights Group, a campaigning organisation, has responded with concern over Cartier's legal action however: "If the claimants are successful, the ruling could be used as a basis for applications for blocking orders that are contrary to the public interest."

David Allen Green, the solicitor acting for the Open Rights Group, explained the dangers further: "A whole website could be blocked just because of the activities of a few sellers. Or a rights holder may threaten to apply for an injunction on the pretext of an alleged infringement when all that is happening is unwelcome consumer criticism or parody."

Meanwhile the ISPs involved in the legal action, namely BSkyB, BT, EE, TalkTalk and VirginMedia, have issued a joint statement on the issue: "This claim raises important and untested legal issues including whether ISPs should be ordered to block websites which sell trademark infringing goods. We think that it's right for this question to be subjected to the scrutiny of the courts."

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