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The French High Court (Cour de Cassation) ruled on December 13, 2005 (SOFICAR vs./ LE TOURISME MODERNE) that it was necessary to compare the products and services offered on the web site with those claimed under the earlier trademark to decide whether the infringement is constituted or not.

The High Court clearly regards as ungrounded the claim based only on services of class 38 when it is alleged that an active web site is equivalent to a communication activity. In this matter, as there was no active web site, it was no possible to make the required comparison and the claim based on class 38 alone was consequently rejected.

his Decision clearly is a stop-point to the policy of systematically covering services of class 38 in trademark application with the view to react against an eventual web site. Now, only the products and services offered online are to be taken into account. The Court however leads to consider that the WIPO complaint is the sole efficient way for contesting a non-active web site (as long as the domain name falls within the scope of the WIPO rules).

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