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Should secondary liability online be harmonised?

James Nurton, London

WIPO’s trade marks committee is to consider whether to develop standards for determining secondary liability of internet intermediaries

The Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) meets in Geneva from March 28 to April 1.

One of the items on its agenda is trade marks and the internet.

At its last meeting in November last year, the SCT asked the WIPO Secretariat to examine whether the 2001 Joint Recommendation on trade marks on the internet needs updating.

This followed concerns that the Joint Recommendation may not adequately address new types of trade mark use online that have evolved in the past 10 years.

In that time, numerous cases have arisen over issues such as Google AdWords and the liability of companies such as eBay for counterfeit goods sold online.

Last month, Frederick Mostert of Richemont presented a paper at a conference organised by the University of...

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