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A hyperlink to counterfeited content can be unlawful

September 09, 2016

The European Court of Justice has just handed down a very interesting ruling. Against the opinion of the Attorney General, the Court ruled that a hyperlink which resolves, for profit, to counterfeited content, is unlawful. The ruling is available on the website of the ECJ.

This statement is largely subject to conditions: firstly, the final content must be counterfeit and secondly, the editor of the website must have been seeking profit. The editor will be deemed to know the nature of the content to which the link resolves.

Of course, advertising banners on websites are targeted by this ruling, as well as links which rebound through commercial links before resolving to the final content and which allow the editor to receive a commission for every click.

This decision broadens the conditions which enable the takedown of infringing content online. Indeed, a page where only a hyperlink is displayed, with the exclusion of any counterfeit content, may be taken down.

We are at your disposal to help you protect your trademark rights online. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

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