This case is a slightly unusual case where Daimler sought to test the boundaries of what can constitute trade mark infringement.
Here, as an authorised Mercedes-Benz dealership, the defendant garage was allowed to use the Mercedes-Benz trade mark in their adverts. When the authorised dealership ceased, the garage instructed the listing website which included the garage’s details to remove the trade mark from the adverts. However this requested was never actioned.
Further, without the knowledge of the garage, several other directory websites had exported the data from the original listing (including the reference to an authorised Mercedes-Benz dealership) and used this as part their database.
The court sensibly held that the garage could no longer be said to be using the trademark after they had instructed its removal. They also held that the garage could not be liable for the action of third parties with which have replicated the advert without their consent.
However the court it left open for Daimler to claim reimbursement from the garage of any financial benefit the garage would receive from the continued use of the trade mark under applicable national laws.
Car maker Daimler has failed to convince the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that a former partner company should be held responsible for allegedly trademark-infringing adverts, in a dispute centring on the ‘Mercedes-Benz’ mark.
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