Preiskel & Co LLP acted successfully for the Open Rights Group (ORG) in its intervention in Cartier International AG & others v British Sky Broadcasting & others, the landmark case about internet trade mark infringement.
The judgment handed down today by the High Court in London showed the ORG intervention had a significant impact on the decision of the court.
Although the court held it had jurisdiction to order injunctions directly against intermediary Internet Service Providers (ISPs) so that websites selling counterfeit goods can be blocked to the ISP subscribers, Mr Justice Arnold adopted the key ORG submission that such orders should always contain safeguards against abuse. He also adopted ORG’s proposals for such safeguards.
In particular the judge:
- accepted ORG’s submission that the orders should be required to have safeguards against abuse, and that this was a requirement which had been missed by the other parties (para. 191);
- adopted ORG’s concrete proposals about the information to be included on landing pages and “sunset clauses” as safeguards against abuse (paras. 262 to 265); and
- thanked ORG for its “brief, moderate and helpful” written submissions, which were “sensibly” not opposed by the other parties (para. 7).
Our submisisons made on behalf of the ORG are here.
ORG’s Legal Director Elizabeth Knight said:
“Whilst we are disappointed that the Court decided it had jurisdiction to grant these blocking orders, we are very pleased that that the judge took account of ORG’s intervention and recognised our concerns by ensuring that safeguards against abuse were included in the judgment, including landing page information and sunset clauses.”
David Allen Green, lawyer at Preiskel & Co LLP, who acted for ORG pro bono said:
“ORG is not on the side of counterfeiters.
“But innocent internet users can end up being affected by these orders. The court should be mindful of how these orders can impact on third parties. Had it not been for ORG’s submission, various points may well not have been included in today’s judgment.
“We are grateful to the High Court for allowing our intervention and in particular, recognising that the test to be applied by the court includes the requirement of there being safeguards against abuse. We hope that this intervention will go some way to help ensure that future claimants cannot use blocking orders to restrict legitimate activity or free speech.”
The ORG press release is here.