LONDON, United Kingdom — Luxury brands Cartier and Montblanc won a UK court ruling that orders Internet providers to block websites selling counterfeit goods including watches and pens.
UK Internet service providers including Sky Plc, BT Group Plc and TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc must prevent access to five sites, including montblancebay.com, as they infringe the companies’ trademarks by selling the fake goods, Judge Richard Hacon said in a ruling issued Tuesday.
Intellectual property crime costs the UK economy around 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) a year in lost profits and taxes, according to a 2014 UK government report. A 2011 report from the International Chamber of Commerce said that the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy trade would reach $1.7 trillion by 2015.
Today’s ruling is the second time a London judge has been asked by the luxury brands to block websites selling fake goods.
The ISPs weren’t represented in court and took a neutral stance on blocking the sites, telling the judge in written documents that closing five websites may not make "any difference to the scale of infringement," Hacon said.
“We block websites as and when directed to by a court order,” a TalkTalk spokesman said in an e-mail.
A spokesperson for Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of Cartier and Montblanc, didn’t immediately comment on the ruling. The other ISPs didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment.
By Jeremy Hodges; editors: Anthony Aarons and Thomas Mulier.