dimanche, mars 27, 2011

Une banque qui favorise le piratage des cartes bancaires

Il y a quelques mois, je retire vingt euros au DAB de la Banque Populaire Rives de Paris de l’Agence de Saint-Ouen Mairie. Qu’elle ne fut pas ma surprise à la simple introduction de ma carte bancaire de lire sur l’écran :

 

BIENVENUE CONDAT/JEAN-BERNARD.MR

 

Il est clair que l’information affichée par ce DAB provenait de la puce Gemplus lue. J’avoue avoir été étonné que sur simple introduction de la carte bancaire et sans frappe de mon code PIN, le DAB affiche le titulaire de la carte. Ce qui signifie qu’une carte volée introduite sans frappe du code est tout de suite identifiée par les nom, prénom et sexe de son porteur. De quoi favoriser ensuite la fraude par l’usage des données du visuel de la carte et des données ainsi obtenues.

 

J’écris à la banque qui transmet ma lettre au responsable des assurances et des risques. Ce dernier n’hésite pas à m’écrire que la convivialité lui impose cette faille inévitable de sécurité (sic).

 

Devant une telle idiotie, je n’ai pas osé demander au Président de la banque de vérifier la réalité des diplômes de ce responsable du risque, mais je ne retire plus d’argent dans ces DAB trop bavards. Et vous ?

 

samedi, mars 19, 2011

L'acédie

L’acédie désigne un mal de l’âme qui s’exprime par un profond ennui, une lassitude spirituelle, une tristesse et une aversion pour la prière. Elle se manifeste plutôt, paradoxalement, pour une fébrilité qui va jusqu’à l’hyperactivité. Et comme cette torpeur attaque surtout à la chaleur du jour, elle a été assimilée au démon de midi. C’est à Thomas d’Aquin qu’on doit les vues les plus pénétrantes sur le sujet : il la décrit à la fois comme une tristesse du bien divin et un dégoût de l’action. Elle ronge le dynamisme de la vie spirituelle à sa racine et figure depuis le Moyen-Âge parmi les péchés capitaux. Pour lutter contre l’acédie, rien ne vaut le travail manuel, estime Jean Cassien (Ve siècle).

 

Voir : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ac%C3%A9die

 

mardi, mars 08, 2011

Deux mesures en faveur des bailleurs

Deux textes récents précisent les relations entre bailleur et locataire :

 

 

Unité du patrimoine numérique

1 bit (b) = plus petite unité de stockage, il vaut 0 ou 1

1 octet (o) = 8 bits

1 mégaoctet (Mo) = 1024 octets

1 gigaoctet (Go) = 1024 Mo

1 téraoctet (To) = 1024 Go

1 petaoctet (Po) = 1024 To

1 exaoctet (Eo) = 1024 Po

1 zettaoctet (Zo) = 1024 Eo

 

Taiwan and China to start mutual recognition of patent priority claims

On June 29 2010 Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and China's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits signed the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and the Cross-Strait IP Rights Protection Cooperation Agreement, which both took effect on September 12 2010. In order to comply with the implementation of the IP agreement, amendments to Articles 27 and 28 of the Patent Act were also made and took effect on September 12 2010. Following amendments to the internal implementation guidelines adopted by the relevant government agencies, on November 22 2010, Taiwan began to accept priority claims from China and China began to accept priority claims from Taiwan, although the priority date thus claimed cannot be earlier than September 12 2010 (ie, the date on which the IP agreement took effect).

Since November 22 2010, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has accepted Taiwanese patent applications filed with priority claims based on Chinese basic applications. In addition to a patent applicant from Taiwan or China, a foreign applicant whose home country has reciprocity with Taiwan for patent priority claim may also claim priority for his or her Taiwanese patent application based on a Chinese basic application.

For patent applications already filed with the TIPO with priority claims based on Chinese basic applications, for which the TIPO issued notifications to "temporarily suspend their decisions on the said priority claims", since these applications do not meet the requirements (ie, the priority claim is made on or after November 22 2010 and the priority date thus claimed is not earlier than September 12 2010), the TIPO will not resume its handling of priority claims already made. In addition, the TIPO now accepts priority documents in electronic form.

On November 17 2010, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) announced the Regulations Concerning Patent Filing by Taiwanese Applicants, under which, as of November 22 2020, the SIPO accepts priority claims made by Taiwanese applicants based on priority applications filed in Taiwan; the priority date thus claimed may not be earlier than September 22 2010. The regulations are silent on how to deal with matters related to priority claims made by a foreign applicant based on a Taiwanese basic application.

The SIPO has indicated that priority claims accepted by the SIPO under the IP agreement are aimed at those made by applicants from Taiwan and China. However, for a Chinese patent application jointly filed by two or more co-applicants, the SIPO will accept priority claim made based on a Taiwanese basic application if at least one of the co-applicants is from Taiwan (such a Taiwanese co-applicant must be listed as the first co-applicant in the written patent application).

For further information on this topic please contact
Daisy Wang at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 2715 3300), fax (+886 2 2713 3966) or email (daisywang@leeandli.com).

Contributed by Lee and Li Attorneys at Law

 

Lithuania: Securing trademark and patent protection

The regulation of IP rights in Lithuania is based on universally recognised principles of IP law. Legislation throughout the Baltic countries distinguishes rights that must be duly registered from copyright and related rights (whereby works are immediately protection on their creation). Therefore, patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications require registration in order to receive legal protection.

Trademarks

The competent authority for trademarks is the State Patent Bureau. Under Lithuanian law, the term 'trademark' applies to a sign which is capable of:

  • distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of other persons; and
  • being represented graphically.

Natural and legal persons may obtain protection for a mark by registering it:

  • in Lithuania's Register of Trademarks;
  • with the International Register of the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation under the Madrid Protocol;or
  • as a Community trademark.

In addition, a mark may also be protected by court recognition that it is well known in Lithuania.

The term of validity of a trademark is 10 years.

Patents

Patents are defined in Lithuanian law as a form of legal protection for an invention - that is, a technical solution to a technical problem.

Both natural and legal persons can apply for patent protection. However, authorship of the invention itself is intangible and can reside only with a natural person.

Patent protection applies:

  • upon registration in Lithuania's Register of Patents; or
  • upon registration with the European Patent Office and submission of a translation of the European patent claims into Lithuanian, together with payment of the prescribed fee for publication to the State Patent Bureau within three months of publication of notice that the European patent has been granted.

The term of validity of a patent is 20 years.

For further information on this topic please contact Edita Ivanauskienė at Lideika, Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai LAWIN by telephone (+370 5 268 1888), fax (+370 5 212 5591) or email (edita.ivanauskiene@lawin.lt).

Contributed by LAWIN Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai

 

 

France :'Free' is no free-for-all

In a decision of October 29 2010 the Paris Court of First Instance ruled that the use of the term 'free' in a domain name was not free, since it had become a well-known trademark owned by French internet service provider Free SAS.

Facts

Free was set up in 1999 and currently has a 25% market share in France. It owns several trademarks consisting of or including the term 'free', including a word mark registered on October 25 1989 and a semi-figurative mark registered on April 8 1999 containing the phrase 'la liberté n'a pas de prix' ('freedom is priceless'). Free also owns the domain name 'free.fr'.

The defendant, French company Osmozis SAS, sets up and markets wireless hotspots using WiFi technology. Osmozis registered the domain name 'freewifi.fr' on November 4 2005 and used it to point to a commercial website marketing its services and products. In addition, Osmozis included the metatag 'free' in the source code of its main website www.osmozis.com.

On June 12 2009 Free sent a cease and desist letter to Osmozis asking it to stop using the domain name, but Osmozis refused to cooperate. Free then filed a lawsuit against the company on July 31 2009 on the grounds of trademark infringement and tortious liability for violation of its company name, trade name and domain name. Free sought compensation and the transfer of the domain name.

Free submitted that the addition of the term 'WiFi' after its FREE trademark in the domain name did not preclude similarity between the domain name and the FREE trademark. In support of its assertion that the FREE trademark was well known, Free produced evidence of its significant notoriety and reputation, including opinion polls, data substantiating the number of registered users and decisions of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

Osmozis contended that Free's trademark in the term 'free' was not distinctive, but merely descriptive of the products or services for which the trademark was registered and that it should therefore be revoked. Secondly, Osmozis argued that its products or services were different to those offered by Free and, in light of the principle of specialty of trademarks, there could be no infringement in the absence of use in relation to identical or similar products or services. Osmozis also argued that there was no risk of confusion between the domain name and the FREE trademark, as the term 'free' was purely descriptive. Finally, Osmozis submitted that the trademark FREE was not a well-known trademark.

Decision

The Paris Court of First Instance rejected Osmozis's contention that Free's trademark in the term 'free' was descriptive of the products or services for which it was registered, pointing out that it had not come to mean 'wireless' (in French) in the context of telecommunications, as Osmozis contended. The court agreed with Free that the term 'free' has no common meaning in French (although it is sometimes used in its English sense when associated with another term, such as 'free jazz'), and this was the case when the trademark was registered in 1989. Osmozis's request for Free's trademarks to be declared invalid was therefore denied.

The court refused to find that Osmozis was infringing Free's trademarks by using the domain name, as it was merely being used to point towards its main website, which did not reproduce the FREE trademarks. Importantly, however, the court then went on to rule in favour of Free in relation to the well-known nature of Free's word mark in the term 'free'. As a result of Article L. 713-5 of the IP Code, the mere registration of a domain name reproducing a well-known trademark could be sufficient to trigger the liability of the registrant of such a domain name under certain circumstances. The court considered that the use of the domain name by Osmozis could not be considered legitimate, especially given the risk of confusion in the mind of the public, which was likely as a result of the considerable reputation of the FREE trademark in the telecommunications field.

In addition, the court considered that the registration and use of the domain name by Osmozis was an act of unfair competition whereby Osmozis chose the domain name with a view to unduly benefiting from Free's established goodwill and reputation in its domain name, company name and trade name by creating a likelihood of association between the domain name and Free's name, products and services.

In view of the above, the court awarded Free damages of €15,000 and €10,000 in costs.

The Paris Court of First of Instance considered that the additional issue of the inclusion of the metatag 'free' in the source code of the website www.osmozis.com did not constitute either trademark infringement or grounds for tortious liability.

Comment

One notable aspect of the decision is that had Free not succeeded in proving that FREE was a well-known trademark, Free's claim in relation to trademark infringement would have failed for much the same reasons as its claims in relation to metatag use failed. This is because the domain name was merely being used to point towards the Osmozis website, which did not reproduce the FREE trademarks. Thus, the domain name was not being used in a trademark sense, but only as a technical means of granting access to a website.

A domain name used to point towards a website may remain in the address bar on arrival at the website, or the main address of the website may appear, depending on how the pointing has been set up. In this instance, even though internet users could obtain access to the Osmozis website by typing in the domain name, the pointing had been set up so that the domain name no longer appeared in the address bar on arrival at the website. It appears that the court may have been influenced by this, even though it did not specifically pick up the point. Thus, the outcome may potentially have been different if the domain name had remained in the address bar on arrival at the Osmozis website, given that the parties were operating in broadly the same field. However, the court overcame this issue by finding instead that FREE was a well-known trademark and thus benefited from a greater degree of protection.

The court also confirmed the specific status of domain names under French law, namely that through principles of tortious liability they are protected independently from a trademark which they might reproduce.

Finally, in the case at hand Free would probably have been in a good position to obtain transfer of the domain name by resorting to one of the alternative dispute resolution procedures implemented by AFNIC, the French domain name registry. However, it is not possible to obtain damages and costs through such procedures, unlike court proceedings. While court proceedings take much longer, they may ultimately act as a greater deterrent to potential infringers, who will often find it difficult to pay damages and costs, especially those in the region of €25,000.

For further information on this topic please contact David Taylor, Vincent Denoyelle or Jane Seager at Hogan Lovells by telephone (+33 1 53 67 47 47), fax (+33 1 53 67 47 48) or email (david.taylor@hoganlovells.com, vincent.denoyelle@hoganlovells.com or jane.seager@hoganlovells.com).

Contributed by Hogan Lovells

Canada: Disclaimers continue to have use in Canadian trademark practice

A disclaimer is typically considered to be an admission by the trademark applicant that the disclaimed term is not independently registrable. Historically, the Canadian Trademarks Office required disclaimers to be entered by applicants in respect of such terms, but the policy of requiring disclaimers was largely discontinued by a Trademarks Office practice notice of August 15 2007. However, it is necessary to remain aware of disclaimers.

Why the need for disclaimers?

The Trademarks Act establishes that certain categories of words and designs are generally not independently registrable, such as words that are the name, in any language, of the wares or services.

Disclaimers allow applicants for trademarks that contain some of these categories of unregistrable words or designs to disclaim the right to the exclusive use of any portions that are not independently registrable. In some cases each individual portion of a trademark can be disclaimed; if the combination of elements is distinctive, the trademark as a whole may still be registrable.

Effect of disclaimers on trademark rights

On registration, trademark owners have the right to prevent unauthorised use of their trademarks, including use of the disclaimed portions. In determining whether two marks are confusing, the trademarks will be considered in their totality. However, since one of the main purposes of disclaimers is to permit others to use the disclaimed portion of a trademark in a trademark of their own, typically, no confusion will be found if the only similarity between the two trademarks is the disclaimed matter.

In addition, an applicant can subsequently register the disclaimed portion independently if the disclaimed matter becomes distinctive in the context of the applicant's wares or services.

Historical use of disclaimers

Before 2007, the registrar could require an applicant to disclaim the right to the exclusive use of any portion of a trademark that was not independently registrable. Failure to do so could have resulted in the registrar's rejection of the application.

In general, disclaimers were beneficial for avoiding or overcoming an objection in cases where a portion of the trademark fell into one of the categories of unregistrable words or designs. However, a disclaimer could not be used to overcome an objection alleging that:

  • the trademark was confusing with an earlier applied for or registered trademark;
  • the trademark was a protected geographical indication for wine or spirits; or
  • the dominant feature of the trademark was clearly descriptive, deceptively misdescriptive or a term or design that was common to the trade.

Current use of disclaimers

On August 15 2007 the Trademarks Office issued a practice notice stating that the registrar "generally would not require" applicants to enter disclaimers, although voluntary disclaimers would continue to be accepted.

Although the scope of the words 'generally would not require' is unclear, applicants are typically no longer required to disclaim unregistrable portions of their trademarks, unless the trademark contains an 11-point maple leaf (shown on the Canadian flag).

Since this practice notice was issued, voluntary disclaimers have become fairly uncommon. That said, from time to time, an applicant may decide to disclaim a portion of its trademark voluntarily. A voluntary disclaimer may, for example, be entered for strategic reasons, such as to avoid conflict with a third party.

Numerous trademark registrations exist that contain disclaimers. Knowledge of the effect of disclaimers on trademark rights is important in evaluating the scope of protection offered by such existing registrations.

Comment

Overall, disclaimers appear to have fallen into disuse in recent years; however, it is necessary to be aware of their use and effect in light of the fact that:

  • disclaimers may become an issue when dealing with older registrations;
  • voluntary disclaimers are still accepted; and
  • disclaimers will still be required in certain circumstances.

For further information on this topic please contact Jayda A Sutton at Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh by telephone (+1 416 593 5514), fax (+1 416 591 1690) or email (jsutton@smart-biggar.ca).

Rebecca Rodal, articling student, assisted in the preparation of this update.

Contributed by Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

 

Argentina: 'Similarity-based approval' system ineffective for test data protection

Introduction

Test data protection (or data exclusivity) is one of the most interesting topics in the debate about IP rights.

Article 39.3 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) establishes that test data required as a condition to approve the marketing of pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical products which use new chemical entities - the origination of which involves a considerable effort - is protected against unfair commercial use.

However, Argentine Law 24,766 regulating this issue does not offer effective data protection and, consequently, its literal interpretation is inconsistent with TRIPs.

Those against test data protection argue that the information publicly disclosed and submitted in order to obtain marketing authorisation is not protected under Article 39.3 of TRIPs.

Health authorities have established a 'similarity-based' approval system for pharmaceutical products.

Similares

In countries providing effective test data protection, no third party is allowed to obtain the health authorities' marketing approval during the data protection term by using the test data submitted by the rights holder.

The principle governing this situation should be that every company requesting marketing authorisation must perform its own clinical trials evidencing the efficacy and safety of the product for which approval is sought.

In spite of this, Article 5 of Law 24,766 sets forth a similarity-based approval mechanism by means of a summary proceeding which does not require the submission of own trials or tests.

The information required by Article 5, which must be submitted in order to obtain approval by similarity, can be easily accessed by copying the information from the original drug used as a reference.

Similares - as allowed according to Article 5 under a similarity-based approval mechanism - are a class of pharmaceutical product approved by health authorities which are copies of innovative original drugs. This practice is prevalent in Latin America and some African and Asian countries.

Health authorities generally approve similares without requiring safety and efficacy data of the similar product itself, and as such, similares should not be confused with generics.

Also, due to the fact that similares are manufactured, packaged, marketed with their own brand names and distinct packaging (and are not designed to look like the innovator product), and are legally approved for marketing and use, they should not be confused with counterfeits.

Lack of enforcement

Among the main reasons for the lack of enforcement of test data protection at the health authority level is the fact that health authorities consider test data protection as an IP right that benefits only the private holder, not taking into account that such protection acts as a unique incentive to promote research and development, as well as to improve quality.

Intellectual property protects the results of innovative research as a means for promoting research in all fields. In general, it legally protects economic and scientific research efforts for innovations in different fields and, in particular, it protects test data in the pharmaceutical and chemical fields.

Access to medicines

Several issues must be considered when analysing access to pharmaceutical products and their quality. Access to pharmaceutical products cannot be solved by disregarding the fulfilment of quality requirements.

Pharmaceutical equivalence is different from therapeutic equivalence, since a pharmaceutical product can be considered therapeutically equivalent only when it clinically demonstrates the same efficacy and safety.

Therefore, Article 39.3 of TRIPs on test data protection is very important in the matter of health protection, since in accordance with its provisions, health authorities can require the submission of test data to prove the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products, while ensuring that the test data will not be subject to unfair commercial use.

For further information on this topic please contact
Daniel R Zuccherino at Obligado & Cia by telephone (+54 11 4114 1100), fax (+54 11 4311 5675) or email (dzuccherino@obligado.com.ar).

Contributed by Obligado & Cia

 

 

vendredi, mars 04, 2011

Le prix du carburant sur la planète

Azerbaïdjan Diesel EUR 0,31               
Egypte Diesel EUR 0,14                 
Ethiopie Super EUR 0,24
Bahamas Diesel EUR 0,25

Belgique Diesel EUR 1,222
Bolivie Super EUR 0,25       
Brésil Diesel EUR 0,54             
Chine Normal EUR 0,45     
Equateur Normal EUR 0,24

France Diesel EUR 1,294         
Ghana Normal EUR 0,09 !!!!!!!   
Groenland Super EUR 0,50   
Guyane Normal EUR 0,67  
Hong-Kong Diesel EUR 0,84      
Inde Diesel  EUR 0,62    
Indonésie Diesel EUR 0,32    
Irak Super EUR 0,60     
Kazakhstan Diesel EUR 0,44     
Qatar Super EUR 0,15  
Kuweit Super EUR 0,18  
Cuba Normal EUR 0,62    
Libye Diesel EUR 0,08  !!!!!!!      
Malaisie Super EUR 0,55 
Mexique Diesel EUR 0,41 
Moldavie Normal EUR 0,25  
Oman Super plus EUR 0,20
Pérou Diesel EUR 0,22 
Philippines Diesel EUR 0,69 
Russie Super EUR 0,64 
Arabie Saoudite Diesel EUR 0,07  !!!!!!    
Afrique du Sud Diesel EUR 0,66 
Swaziland  Super EUR 0,10  !!!!!! 
Syrie Diesel EUR 0,10  !!!!!  
Trinidad Super EUR 0,33
Thaïlande Super EUR 0,65
Tunisie Diesel EUR 0,49
USA  Diesel EUR 0,61
Venezuela  Diesel EUR 0,07  !!!!!
Emirats Arabes Unis Diesel EUR 0,18
Vietnam  Diesel EUR 0,55
Ukraine  Diesel EUR 0,51

jeudi, mars 03, 2011

John Galliano récupère son nom de domaine

Alors que John GALLIANO se fait étrier par la presse pour avoir, soit disant, copieusement insulté ses voisins de table dans un bar branchoueux du quartier Montorgueil à Paris, l'expert unique du Centre d'Arbitrage et de Médiation de l'OMPI, Jean-Claude COMBALDIEU a rendu le 26 février 2011 une décision de commission administrative favorable au directeur artistique de DIOR dans un litige technique. Les faits sont simples : John Galliano est notoirement connu pour être l'un des créateurs de mode les plus doués de notre époque. Il a reçu pour son œuvre et ses créations les plus hautes distinctions honorifiques du Royaume Uni de Grande Bretagne et de l'Irlande du Nord et de France. Il a notamment créé sa propre griffe de haute couture et de prêt-à-porter sous le nom de "Galliano". Il a créé en 1994 la société John Galliano S.A. qui est le Requérant dans le présent litige. Cette société a été inscrite au Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés à Paris le 14 avril 1994. Les activités mentionnées portent notamment sur la mode féminine et masculine, la parfumerie, les cosmétiques, les produits de beauté et généralement tous articles de mode et de maroquinerie […] Enfin le 26 décembre 1996 le Requérant a enregistré le nom de domaine <johngalliano.fr>. Une société de Blagnac, Web Intelligence S.A. n'a pas hésité à déposer le nom de domaine <galliano.fr>. Heureusement que l'expert a ordonné le transfert de ce nom de domaine au créateur de mode !
Sources : décision n° DFR2011-0001, John Galliano S.A. c/Web Intelligence, http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/text.jsp?case=DFR2011-0001.




Libellés : , ,

l'absolution redoutée de l'annonceur: publicité sur Internet et référencement

Le choix d'un signe identique à une marque en tant que mot-clé appelé à déclencher l'affichage d'un lien commercial pointant vers un site internet n'est pas illicite, dès lors qu'il n'y a pas atteinte à la fonction essentielle de la marque, qui est de garantir l'identité d'origine des produits et services qu'elle est destinée à distinguer. Tel est l’enseignement dispensé par la Cour d’appel de Paris dans son arrêt déjà retentissant du 2 février 2011.

Pour fonder leur décision, les juges d’appel considèrent en substance que « n'est pas caractérisée en l'espèce une atteinte à la fonction essentielle de la marque qui est de garantir l'identité d'origine des produits et services marqués dès lors qu'il a été relevé que l'internaute normalement informé et raisonnablement attentif appelé à consulter les résultats affichés en réponse à une recherche au sujet de la marque, est en mesure de distinguer les produits ou services du titulaire de cette marque de ceux qui ont une autre provenance ».

A partir de l’instant où la présentation de l’annonce litigieuse ne suggère aucun lien économique entre l’annonceur et le titulaire de la marque, l’utilisation d’un mot-clé reproduisant la marque d’autrui n’est donc pas, en soi, répréhensible.

Est-ce à dire que tout annonceur peut utiliser en tant que mot-clé un signe identique à la marque d’un concurrent, en restant à l’abri de toute sanction ? Certainement pas !

Pour entrer en condamnation, il y aura lieu de déterminer, dans chaque cas d’espèce, s’il existe des références plus ou moins explicites à la marque concurrente dans la présentation ou le corps même de l’annonce litigieuse.

Depuis l’arrêt de la Cour de Justice de l’Union européenne du 23 mars 2010, les juridictions nationales sont effectivement invitées, pour apprécier l’atteinte à la marque, à analyser si la publicité ne permet pas ou permet seulement difficilement à l’internaute moyen de savoir si les produits ou les services visés par l’annonce proviennent du titulaire de la marque ou d’une entreprise économiquement liée à celui-ci ou, au contraire, d’un tiers.

Quelle que soit l’issue de cet examen, l’utilisation d’un mot-clé reproduisant la marque d’un concurrent a toujours pour finalité de détourner l’internaute de sa recherche initiale, en lui proposant une alternative aux produits ou services marqués du titulaire. Ce faisant, l’annonceur tire incontestablement profit du pouvoir attractif qui s’attache à la marque de son concurrent.

Aussi, les tribunaux devront nul doute atténuer la solution dégagée de cet arrêt en préservant un équilibre entre la nécessité de ne pas indûment entraver le développement du commerce électronique et celle de ne pas restreindre la capacité de la marque à protéger son titulaire des usurpations de la concurrence.

Cour d'appel de Paris, Pôle 5, Chambre 1, 2 Février 2011, N° 08/02354

Philippe Rodhain
Conseil en propriété industrielle
Chargé d’enseignement Bordeaux IV
Master II Droit de la Vigne et du Vin
Master II Intelligence Economique
http://www.ipsphere.fr

fuzz.fr et dailymotion.com sont bien des hébergeurs!

La justice confirme le statut d'hébergeur de Daylimotion et de Fuzz

La cour de cassation a confirmé le statut d'hébergeur de Fuzz et Dailymotion leur garantissant un régime d'irresponsabilité de principe. Cette jurisprudence relance le débat sur l'équilibre à trouver entre le monde de la création et le monde de l'Internet
(17/02/2011)

Par un arrêt très attendu de la Cour de cassation en date du 17 février 2011, la justice a confirmé le statut d'intermédiaire technique de Dailymotion et de Fuzz. Si cette décision semble logique pour bon nombre d'internautes, elle scelle un imbroglio juridique de plusieurs années et garantit enfin une certaine sécurité juridique pour les acteurs du Web 2.0.

La loi du 21 juin 2004 a instauré un régime d'irresponsabilité de principe pour toutes « les personnes physiques ou morales qui assurent (...) le stockage de signaux, d'écrits, d'images, de sons ou de messages de toute nature fournis par des destinataires de ces services». Les travaux parlementaires de l'époque puis nombre de professionnels ont appelé ces intermédiaires techniques « hébergeurs » (puisque ce principe avait été, à l'origine, pensé pour les hébergeurs de données, comme OVH par exemple).

Cette définition a permis à la jurisprudence d'aller bien au-delà des hébergeurs de données et de reconnaitre le statut d'intermédiaires à :
- Facebook (TGI Paris, 13 avril 2010) ;
- Wikipédia (TGI Paris, 29 octobre 2007) ;
- Over-blog (TGI Paris 22 juillet 2010) ;
- Bloobox (CA Paris 21 novembre)

Certains sites comme Fuzz (agrégateurs de contenus) ou Dailymotion (site de vidéo) pouvaient répondre à la définition de la loi, mais les ayant-droits des créations ont tenté d'obtenir de ces sites leur part des recettes générées principalement par la publicité.

Par exemple, les adversaires de Dailymotion avaient soulevé que le fait que le site de vidéos encaisse de substantielles recettes de publicité grâce au trafic généré par la présence de vidéos effectivement contrefaisantes suffit à faire perdre à Dailymotion son statut d'intermédiaire technique par principe irresponsable. Cet argument, justement basé sur une certaine éthique, a été repoussé à plusieurs reprises par la justice (et définitivement puisque la CJUE a confirmé cette position dans son arrêt de principe du 23 mars 2010, Google France / LVMH).

D'autres ont tenté d'expliquer que le régime d'irresponsabilité voulu par le législateur au début du siècle ne bénéficiait qu'aux prestataires ne modifiant pas le contenu et n'imposant aucun cadre. Or, que ce soit Dailymotion, Youtube, Myspace ou encore certains sites de blogs, un minimum de modification du format ou du texte est nécessaire pour des raisons techniques. A nouveau, les tribunaux ont écarté ces arguments et fait bénéficier les sites Web 2.0 du régime d'irresponsabilité.

La Cour de cassation a définitivement fermé tous ces débats en reconnaissant à Fuzz et Dailymotion le caractère d'intermédiaire technique bénéficiant d'un régime d'irresponsabilité de principe.

Les principaux sites de vidéos, de blogs ou collaboratifs sont donc aujourd'hui rassurés : ils ne sont, a priori, pas responsables des contenus uploadés par les utilisateurs.

En revanche, il est possible que la clôture de ce débat juridique ouvre un autre débat, plus économico-politique. En effet, aujourd'hui, il est beaucoup plus rentable d'éditer un site en Web 2.0 où ce sont les utilisateurs qui fournissent le contenu (très souvent en totale illégalité, mais en application de cette jurisprudence, le site ne risque rien) ce qui génère un trafic considérable et donc, d'importants revenus publicitaires (et éventuellement de revente de données personnelles qualifiées des mêmes utilisateurs). La création de contenus (que ce soit des articles de journaliste, de la musique, du cinéma, etc...) est désormais beaucoup moins rémunératrice que l'exploitation de sites Web 2.0 « hébergeant » ces mêmes articles, musiques et/ou vidéos, alors qu'il est plus difficile de devenir Herbie Hancock que de monter un site Internet...

Si le droit est rarement moral, il n'en reste pas moins que de nombreux débats comme la loi DADVSI ou la loi HADOPI plus récemment montrent qu'un certain équilibre devra être trouvé entre le monde de la création et le monde des réseaux. Le débat juridique a déjà débuté aux Etats-Unis, est lancé depuis plusieurs années en Allemagne et la Commission européenne se dit « prête » à étudier d'éventuels correctifs à ce titre.

 

Sources : Pour www.fuzz.fr, voir Cour de Cassation, chambre civile 1, pourvoi n° 09-13.202, 17 février 2011, http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichJuriJudi.do?oldAction=rechJuriJudi&idTexte=JURITEXT000023607235&fastReqId=300623931&fastPos=1  

Précisions sur les données devant être conservées par les hébergeurs de services en-ligne

Près de sept ans après la loi l'intéressant, le décret précisant les données devant être conservées, et par les fournisseurs d'accès à Internet, et par les hébergeurs, en vertu de l'article 6-II de la loi du 21 juin 2004, dite LCEN, vient de paraître au Journal officiel.

Rappelons que l'article en question de la LCEN met à la charge des prestataires techniques de l'Internet une obligation de conservation des données d’identification des créateurs de contenus en ligne; afin notamment de pouvoir les identifier en cas de contenus litigieux.

Après de nombreuses incertitudes jurisprudentielles sur le contenu de cette obligation, le décret n° 2011-219 du 25 février 2011 relatif à la conservation et à la communication des données permettant d'identifier toute personne ayant contribué à la création d'un contenu mis en ligne est enfin paru.

Même s'il paraît assez précis voire exhaustif de prime abord, le texte est source de plus d'incertitude que de réponses...

Au regard de l'alinéa 3 de l'article 1 du décret, il semble délicat que les hébergeurs puissent être en possession de toutes ces données quand il leur était déjà difficile d'obtenir des données satisfaisantes concernant les "blogueurs anonymes" et autres "pirates" fantaisistes de la propriété intellectuelle. Devront-ils vérifier les informations transmises ou bien simplement les collecter, en adaptant leurs formulaires de souscription aux exigences du texte ?

Quant à l'alinéa 2 de l'article précité, il semble, à mon sens, que la conservation des données exigée, soit, d'une part, assez discutable en matière de respect de la "navigation anonyme". Certes, lorsqu'un contenu est mis en ligne, il est important de protéger la propriété intellectuelle, mais pas au détriment de la vie privée ... Or, il faut, à ce titre, éviter le glissement (aisé) de la conservation de données techniques vers le syndrome du Big Brother tant décrié, qui desservira a fortiori, dans l'opinion publique, la légitimité de la propriété intellectuelle sur internet.

D'autre part, il va sans dire que le strict respect de ce texte risque d'engendrer un coût insupportable pour des hébergeurs aux ressources parfois limitées, engendrant par-là même une concentration du marché au détriment des consommateurs.

Au-delà de ces éléments, ce décret ne cache t’il pas un moyen "subtil" pour le législateur d'orienter la donne vers les FAI?

Certes, ceux-ci sont plus à même de posséder nombre de ces données, de manière complète et précise, puisqu'elles sont nécessaires à la fourniture du service. Elles sont également plus aisées à collecter pour ces prestataires, par le biais des formalités d'abonnement, et grâce des infrastructures déjà mises en place par les FAI aux fins de stabilité du réseau.

Quand, en matière d'Internet, la richesse et le pouvoir réside dans l'information, sa précision et sa justesse, une énumération (et obligation) aussi détaillée des données de connexion devant être conservées par les prestataires techniques orientera vraisemblablement les ayants droits à se tourner, d'abord, vers ceux plus à même de les posséder, disposant de plus de connaissance, de "pouvoir", vers les fournisseurs d'accès à Internet donc, afin d'identifier l'internaute ayant porté atteinte à leurs droits.

Or, pour citer un certain film, n'oublions pas que "With great power comes great responsibility"...

 

Sources : http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000023646013&dateTexte=&categorieLien=id

mercredi, mars 02, 2011

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mardi, mars 01, 2011

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Contacts : www.thetest.fr, 01 41 27 02 27.

 

United Kingdom: 'User principle' damages in trademark cases

In National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Christopher Silveria,(1) a trademark case, the Patents County Court (which, despite its name, can hear a broad range of IP cases) assessed damages on the 'user principle', in the same way as in patent cases. This means that the claimant need not establish that it has lost sales. Damages can be assessed by reference to the amount that the defendant would have had to pay in licence fees to the claimant if the right to use the trademark had been lawfully acquired.

Facts

The claimant was a regulatory trade association operating in the removal and storage industry. Its rules of membership provided that its trademarks could be used by members in their advertising, literature and websites. The rules included a licence of the trademarks; they also set out the licence fees payable for continued use of the marks after expiry or termination of membership (eg, when use was in an annual publication, such as Yellow Pages, and membership expired during the relevant year).

The judgment covered four separate actions brought by the claimant against unrelated defendants. In three cases the defendant's licences had expired; in the fourth case the defendant had used the marks without ever having been a member of the guild.

The court had given judgment in default of acknowledgment of service or defence, and this judgment was in the unopposed inquiry as to damages. The court had to consider whether damages were recoverable under the user principle in cases of passing off and trademark infringement. If so, it had to calculate the amount of damages payable by each defendant.

User principle

Judge Birss QC explained that in many trademark infringement cases, the infringer's use of the infringing mark will lead to sales of the relevant goods which are lost to the claimant. In such cases, damages can be calculated by assessing the profit lost as a result of losing the sales. However, in the present case the claimant's business did not work in this way and the defendants had not caused this kind of loss to the claimant. Rather, damage suffered by the claimant could be regarded as the loss of a royalty which it should have been paid in return for use of the trademarks. Damages which are calculated in this way are referred to as 'user damages'. In this case the judge was required to decide whether user damages are recoverable in a trademark and passing-off case.

Decision

The judge followed the House of Lords (now Supreme Court) patent case General Tire v Firestone
(2) on the general principles of damages in intellectual property cases. The case makes clear that user damages could be claimed following a patent infringement.

The key question was whether user damages can also be awarded in a case of trademark infringement or passing off. On the basis of the copyright case of Blayney v Clogau St Davids Gold Mines,
(3) in which the Court of Appeal extended user-basis damages from patents to other forms of IP rights, and Irvine v Talksport(4) a passing-off case about celebrity endorsement in which the Court of Appeal assessed damages as the amount that the claimant would have charged for use of his image, the judge decided that it was right to award the guild damages calculated on the user principle. He stated as follows:

"In my judgment, as a matter of principle, where a defendant uses a mark without permission and thereby infringes a registered trade mark or commits an act of passing-off, that act is capable of damaging the claimant's property in the mark (see Section 14(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994) or property in the goodwill attaching to his business. That is so whether or not a lost sale has taken place."

The judge went through each of the four actions individually, awarding the claimant over £77,000 in total. The damages were calculated using:

  • the weekly payments that would have been payable by guild members under a proper licence; and
  • the "run-off advertising fees" payable by members after expiry of their guild membership.

Comment

This decision is unsurprising in light of the facts of the case and previous case law. The failure of the defendants to defend will have made the claimant's task easier.

By extending the user principle to passing off in Irvine v Talksport, the Court of Appeal left a natural course for the decision to be followed in a registered trademarks case. The decision in this case is not binding on the High Court, but it seems unlikely that the High Court would reach a different decision.

Damages calculated in accordance with the user principle can still be substantial, as is shown by the award of over £77,000. The damages awarded by the courts in future cases may be higher, particularly in respect of well-known trademarks which would command a high licence fee if used lawfully.

For further information on this topic please contact Jeremy Drew or Matthew Starmer at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP by telephone (+44 20 3060 6000), fax (+44 20 3060 7000) or email (jeremy.drew@rpc.co.uk or matthew.starmer@rpc.co.uk).

Contributed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP

 

Endnotes

(1) [2010] EWPCC 15.

(2) [1976] RPC 197.

(3) [2002] EWCA Civ 1007.

(4) [2003] EWCA Civ 423.