E-commerce, Austria updates

Prohibiting Domain Names Based on Another Person's Name Rights
  • Austria
  • 06 August 2009

In a conflict between a domain name and another person's trademark the content of the domain is key. In a recent decision the Supreme Court had to decide whether to apply the same principle if the conflict is between a domain name and another person's name.

Is Austria Losing its Domain Identity?
  • Austria
  • 03 February 2005

The Hamburg Landgericht has issued a surprising ruling that the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) '.at' has no direct reference to Austria. The court reached a general conclusion that ccTLDs do not possess sufficient distinction to impose residency requirements on the registrant of such a domain name.

Supreme Court Rules on WIPO Procedure Costs
  • Austria
  • 28 October 2004

For the first time, the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue of whether the costs of a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) procedure for a domain name dispute can be claimed as damages from the defeated party.

Can Pornographic Websites be Classed as Information Services?
  • Austria
  • 29 April 2004

The Supreme Court has clarified two aspects of the E-commerce Act, defining the main features of the term 'information services' and specifying contact details that ought to appear on websites. The defendant in question advertised websites where the price of goods and services was not displayed, as well as free access to live webcam transmissions when in fact access was not free.

Does ISP Web Hosting Constitute Data Processing?
  • Austria
  • 11 March 2004

The Austrian Data Protection Commission recently decided that an internet service provider which offers website hosting services is a data processor under the EU Data Protection Act. The commission ruled that a person who processes personal data merely by storing it is considered to be a processor if he acts in accordance with the instructions of the controller.

Supreme Court Gives First E-commerce Act Ruling
  • Austria
  • 06 November 2003

The Supreme Court has ruled that if a website merely advertises a product or service and no contract can be concluded through it, then the service provider need not make contractual terms and conditions available in accordance with Section 11 of the E-commerce Act.

Supreme Court Allows Publication of Judgment Online
  • Austria
  • 24 April 2003

In a recent decision the Supreme Court ruled that a judgment in the plaintiff's favour concerning unfair competition and trademark infringement could be published on the defendant's website. The court stipulated that online reproductions of judgments must appear in a pop-up frame and remain online for 30 days.

New Provisions on Spamming
  • Austria
  • 19 December 2002

The current provisions on spamming in the Austrian Telecommunications Act are to be amended by a new law, the Act on Communications. Since the draft act does not implement all provisions of the directive, it is likely to require modification before being enacted.

Armed Forces Win Domain Name Battle
  • Austria
  • 04 July 2002

Austria's Federal Armed Forces, or Bundesheer, have succeeded in a dispute involving the domain name 'bundesheer.at'. Although the defendant provided a link to the government site 'bundesheer.gv.at', the court felt the defendant exploited the complainants' name.

New Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is Adopted
  • Austria
  • 28 March 2002

Austria's domain name registrar has drafted a dispute resolution policy based on ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. The policy will cover violations of trademarks, competition law and the general right to bear a name.

New E-commerce Act Restricts Electronic Contracts
  • Austria
  • 07 March 2002

The new E-Commerce Act implements the basic principles of the EU directive for executing contracts electronically. However, at the time that the act came into force, only 6% of Austrian online vendors were fulfilling its requirements.

Whether Online or Offline, the Same Business Standards Apply
  • Austria
  • 11 October 2001

The Supreme Court has ruled that a distinction between online and offline transactions should be avoided. The standards for violations of trademarks or competition law apply to Internet and offline business alike. No special rules to govern online transactions are required.

Supreme Court Grants Injunction in Domain Name Dispute
  • Austria
  • 26 July 2001

The Supreme Court has granted an application for a preliminary injunction where a defendant registered the official name of the Public Audit Office under the .com, .net and .org domains, offering inside information.

Supreme Court Rules on Liability for Defamation on the Internet
  • Austria
  • 26 July 2001

The Supreme Court has ruled that facts made available on a homepage and within various sub-categories of a homepage are 'disseminated' in the sense required for the tort of defamation.

Supreme Court Gives First Ruling on Internet Links
  • Austria
  • 05 April 2001

The Supreme Court has ruled that a person who links his web site to a site that is operated by a third party accepts the content of the other web site as part of his own. Therefore he can be held liable for violations of competition law occurring on the other web site.

Controversial Rulings on Internet Domains
  • Austria
  • 25 January 2001

In two recent cases the plaintiffs combined their complaints with applications for preliminary injunctions. In one case the Federal Republic of Austria argued that registration of the domain 'bundesheer.at' violated the right of the armed forces to bear the name bundesheer.

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