June 13, 2018

Open Rights Group victory in Supreme Court web blocking challenge

The Supreme Court has today ruled that trade mark holders are not able to compel Internet service providers to bear the cost of implementing orders to block websites selling counterfeit goods.


Jim, Alex and Myles at the Supreme CourtOpen Rights Group acted as an intervener in this case. We argued that Internet service providers (ISPs) as innocent parties should not bear the costs of website blocking, and that this was a long-standing principle of English law.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

“This case is important because if ISPs paid the costs of blocking websites, the result would be an increasing number of blocks for relatively trivial reasons and the costs would be passed to customers.

“While rights holders may want websites blocked, it needs to be economically rational to ask for this.”

Solicitor in the case David Allen Green said:

"I am delighted to have acted, through my firm Preiskel, successfully for the Open Rights Group in their intervention.

"We intervened to say that those enforcing private rights on internet should bear the costs of doing so, not others. This morning, the UK Supreme Court held unanimously that the rights holders should bear the costs."