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16 November 2010
On August 31 2010 the Tokyo District Court rejected a trademark infringement claim against the operator of a shopping website in which one of the shops had sold infringing goods.
Goods that infringe a third party's IP rights are sometimes offered for sale by a 'shop' (typically owned by an individual or a small company) within a larger internet 'mall' (typically owned by a larger company). A similar situation arises when an individual offers infringing goods for sale on an auction website. Courts around the world have addressed the question of whether the operator of a mall or auction website is liable for infringement of the third party's IP rights in such cases.
In this case the operator of the largest internet mall in Japan was sued for trademark infringement based on the fact that one of the shops in the internet mall had sold infringing goods. The court held that the operator was not liable for trademark infringement because:
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