LGV OBTAINS AN INJUNCTION ORDER AGAINST AN ONLINE RESELLER OF ILLICIT SOFTWARE
By a decision dated July 20, 2018, the Court of Turin ordered an online reseller to cease selling computer programs owned by a major software company without authorization. The Court of Turin found that there was a periculum of default due to the irreparable and unquantifiable damage that resulted from the sale of unauthorized products on the Internet.
The precautionary action was taken by LGV on behalf of its client after the latter learned that the defendant company was reselling its own computer programs via a well-known online auction site without authorization. In particular, the software were in Educational versions which are normally made available only to academic institutions (i.e. their staff and students), free of charge and for a limited period of time. The online reseller, on the other hand, resold these products to users who could not be classified as academic institutions, against payment of a price, and allowed access to the program in a perpetual manner.
The Court of Turin found that both the fumus boni iuris and the periculum in mora exist, which are necessary requirements for the granting of the injunction requested. With reference to fumus, it was ascertained that the defendant had unlawfully exploited the exclusive rights of ownership of the applicant company, granting the request for an injunction also in relation to the protection of the trademark of ownership of the software house.
With regard to the periculum, the Court held that the defendant’s continued sale caused the applicant serious damage which could not be fully repaired, pointing out that, for the undertaking (and, a fortiori, for the software manufacturers), the internet is now the most important and significant means of displaying and distributing its products and its brand. It was also acknowledged that, as a general rule, protective protection in the field of copyright, industrial law and unfair competition was considered admissible since the damage caused by exclusion from the market suffered by the unlawfully harmed entrepreneur was difficult to quantify, and therefore to repair, given the objective difficulty of estimating and the impossibility of reversing in full the effects of the abusive conduct.