CJEU Allowed Website Blocking Injunctions with Some Reservations
Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Volume 9 Issue 7 July 2014
Posted: 6 May 2014 Last revised: 23 Sep 2014
Date Written: April 20, 2014
The Court of Justice of the European Union issued its long awaited decision on admissibility of the website blocking injunctions. The ruling generally allows website blocking, but at the same time makes its permissibility dependent on the number of requirements. Because the decision addresses primarily website blocking injunctions which omit to specify exact blocking technology and/or fixed address of the website (so called open-ended injunctions), it is subject to the interpretation to what extent its principles apply also to the website blocking injunctions that are specific. This case note comes to the conclusion that open-ended website blocking injunctions just: (i) be strictly targeted, (ii) at least partially prevent and seriously discourage the access to a targeted website, (iii) not lead to unbearable sacrifices for an access provider, (iv) must give a court in enforcement proceedings a possibility to asses their reasonableness, (v) provide for a possibility for users to challenge the scope of the blocks once the implementing measures are known (§ 56) and (vi) be transparent in their implementation. If the above six conditions are not met, the open-ended website blocking injunction may not be issued. On the other hand, only some of these conditions will probably apply to specific website blocking injunctions.
Keywords: website blocking injunctions, intermediaries, liability, CJEU, injunctions against innocent third parties
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation