High Court of First Instance of Paris, Summary Order, 18 April 2008, Elite Model Management / P. D., World Scouting Model
A summary order of the High Court of First Instance of Paris dated 18 April 2008 ordered the transfer of the domain name ‘elitemodelmanagement.eu’ to Elite Model Management, the famous model agency established in France in 1972. The order also authorised the notification of the decision to Eurid, the EU association in charge of the registration of the .eu domain names, and to ELB Multimedia, the registration body.
The President of the Court ruled that ‘Elite’ is a well-known trademark under Article L.713-5 of the French Intellectual Property Code, which provides that: “Any person who uses a mark enjoying repute for goods or services that are not similar to those designated in the registration shall be liable under civil law if such use is likely to cause a prejudice to the owner of the mark or if such use constitutes unjustified exploitation of the mark.”
However, whereas Elite Model Management claimed 75.000 Euros damages for the illegal use of its trademark, the President only granted 1.000 Euros, since Elite neither explained nor brought evidence as to the prejudice it had suffered, for example, by providing evidence relating to the traffic on the websites of the defendants.
In previous cases, Elite Model Management had already obtained the transfer of the domain names ‘elite-models.org’, ‘elitemodel.org’ and ‘elitemodel.cc’.