Use of a Third Party’s Trademark in Website Referencing and Source Code
On October 18, 2023, the French Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) issued a decision (case no. 20-20.055) addressing the issue of trademark infringement on the Internet.
In the case at hand, Aquarelle.com initiated legal proceedings against Société Commerciale et Touristique (SCT) for using the keyword "Aquarelle" in internet referencing and incorporating its trademark in the source code of SCT's website.
The ruling affirmed that the use of a third party's trademark in a website's source code can constitute infringement.
However, it determined that in this specific instance, the reproduction of the trademark in the source code did not amount to an infringing use.
This conclusion was based on the understanding that the average Internet user is adequately informed about the origin of the website that appears in search results.
Notably, in this case, the advertisement clearly displayed the name of the third-party website, eliminating any potential for confusion.
Feel free to contact our trademark Team for any additional information and assistance needed.