Danish Court Orders Spanish Site Blocked Because It Uses Trademarked English Word 'Home' As Part Of Its Name
from the global-village dept
Daft trademarking stories are common enough, but it’s always fun to come across new variations on the theme. Netzpolitik points us to this story from Denmark, where a Spanish-owned property site called HomelifeSpain.com ran into trouble because the word “home” was trademarked in Denmark by the Danish property site home.dk. This resulted in the rather incredible remedy of the website itself being banned entirely. As Netzpolitik notes, this is classic function creep: such web blocks were introduced to fight — you guessed it — child pornography, and yet here they are being applied in the rather less serious matter of trademark infringement.
Moreover, it’s hard to see why such a common word as “home” was allowed as a trademark in the first place. It’s true it’s in English, rather than Danish, but even so, trademark examiners would surely have known that granting one company an exclusive monopoly of the common English word “home” in Denmark for certain domains was bound to cause problems somewhere down the line, given the globalized nature of business today. The fact that a Spanish company is now being blocked there because of a Danish trademark granted on an English word proves the point nicely.