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 Protecting Intellectual Property Online

Protecting Intellectual Property Online – The Latest In The Use Of Blocking Orders

December 18, 2014

There has been a significant push in recent years to address the issue of IP rights being infringed online. Following several changes in the law, and a number of landmark decisions, progress is being made to help rights holders enforce their intellectual property rights if these are infringed online.

In the latest instalment, the decision of the CJEU handed down in Telekabel finally confirms that blocking orders are compatible with EU law. However, it is the responsibility of Internet Service Providers to assess what steps need to be taken should such an order be granted.

It was the UK decision in Cartier which saw the first blocking order granted in the UK against a number of websites selling counterfeit goods. The decision signified, in the opinion of the UK courts, that blocking orders are the most effective measure for protecting IP online. Although this echoes Ofcom’s evaluation of the use of blocking injunctions under the Digital Economy Act 2010, blocking orders can take a number of forms, some of which are more effective than others. Ofcom’s findings are outlined in their 2010 report “Site Blocking” to Reduce Online Copyright Infringement: A Review of Sections 17 and 18 of the Digital Economy Act.

Despite recent progress, online copyright infringement is still causing significant damage to rights holders, so more will need to be done in the forthcoming years. The CJEU decision in Telekabel and the UK decision in Cartier have taken steps in the right direction, and should help shape further reform in enforcing IP rights which are being infringed online. To read about the recent decisions go to the Ipkat by clicking