Secondary Liability for Online Trademark Infringement: The International Landscape

Dinwoodie, Graeme B.

In U.S. law, the expression “secondary liability” is an umbrella term encompassing a number of different types of trademark infringement claims, but its essential meaning is that liability does not turn on the defendant itself using the plaintiff’s mark. Rather, in such cases, the defendant is held responsible for the infringements occasioned by a third party’s use of the plaintiff’s mark. Trademark owners might strategically prefer to bring a secondary liability claim instead of suing the third party infringer. A secondary infringement action may increase efficiency by allowing the mark owner to secure, in a single proceeding, relief against a party whose conduct is simultaneously enabling multiple acts of infringement by a number of primary infringers.


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Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts

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July 24, 2015