CMS Cameron McKenna Technology Annual Review 2006

The CMS Cameron McKenna Technology Annual Review is now available to download. The Technology Annual Review summarises some of the most important (and, they hope, interesting) technology related legal news from 2006. It contains short and easy to read news updates on computer crime, spam, copyright in computer games, domain names, ID cards, internet libel and defamation, email signatures, things that are grossly offensive, software patents, eBay, Google, nude sunbathers, and much much more. The guide is a month by month review of selected European technology legal news from 2006.On domain names, the report looks at a few of 2006’s larger stories from a legal perspective. One of these was the court case Tesco Stores Limited v Elogicom (8 March 2006) that saw Tesco secure an injunction to prevent trade mark infringement and passing off against an affiliate (not a connected company, but one which provided referrals to Tesco’s website). The affiliate had registered numerous domain names containing the word ‘Tesco’ and other, misspelt variants of the name. In this case, as the report notes, the case serves as a reminder that the use of domain names which contain well known trade marks can be trade mark infringement. In this case, there was little chance that consumers (using the infringing domain names) would ever be confused, as they would always be directed to the official Tesco website.Another case addresses the question posed, Can a domain name be a “good” or “property” which is capable of being converted? In this case, the report notes A Court of Appeal Judge refused an application for permission to appeal the judgment in The Honourable Nicholas Augustine Plant v Services Direct (UK) plc in which the issue revolved around whether a domain name could be classified as a “good”. The appellant, the Honourable Nicholas Augustine Plant, had brought a claim under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 (the Act) against an internet service provider, Services Direct, claiming that the service provider was withholding his domain name from him. Services Direct refused to transfer the domain name to a third party service provider until the appellant paid monies owed to them.On this case, the report concludes that here, although the application was refused, the decision does not definitively resolve the question of whether an internet domain name can be regarded as a “good”. However, both a common sense view and an analysis of the relevant statute wording would suggest it cannot.Another case reported on is the case of John Bunt v David Tilley & Others the High Court dismissed a defamation claim brought by Mr Bunt against three ISPs, AOL UK Limited, Tiscali Limited and British Telecom. Here, as the report says, in a common-sense judgment which came down clearly on the side of the ISPs, Eady J likened the role of ISPs to that of the postal services. They did not participate in the process of publication as such, but merely acted as facilitators.There is a lot more reported on the annual report, so to see the above a articles in full and many more, download the CMS Cameron McKenna Technology Annual Review. It’s available for free, although you may have to register to access their website. See www.law-now.com/law-now/2007/techannualrevmarch2007.htm

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