The UK Supreme Court ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) no longer have to pay the cost of blocking websites that breach trademarks. The court's unanimous ruling, against French luxury goods maker Cartier means that companies that want to enforce blocks against, for example, companies that sell counterfeit goods, must now pay "reasonable costs" to ISPs.
Calling the ruling "a potential landmark win," Mobile News notes that the ruling raises questions in the legal community about whether the same principle could apply to illegal downloads of copyrighted music.
Several UK ISPs appealed the 2014 decision, citing “no evidence” that their networks were being abused for the purpose of trademark infringement and lost in 2016. A new appeal from BT, Three UK, O2, and Vodafone followed earlier this year, and resulted in this ruling.
ISPreview writes: "The ruling caveats that the outcome may be different if the ISPs are “engaging in caching or hosting” of the content that is intended to be blocked…Otherwise, the outcome means that Rights Holders will now face even higher costs than they did before to get websites blocked, which may hinder their ability to impose mass restrictions in the future."