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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.