Estimated reading time (in minutes)

The judgment of the Commercial Court of Paris in this case highlights the legal consequences of the identical reproduction of the GCS from another website. It emphasizes the importance of respecting intellectual property rights, discouraging parasitic behavior and recognizing the value of the investments made by original creators.

Reproducing identical General Conditions of Sale:-

An act of parasitism Reproducing identically the general conditions of sale (GTC) of another site was qualified as an act of parasitism by the Paris Commercial Court in a significant judgment rendered on June 22, 2012 . In this case, the court awarded €1,000 in damages to the plaintiff on the grounds that the copier had gained an unfair advantage by avoiding the necessary investment, resulting in cost savings that created a competitive advantage. However, the court limited the compensation to €1,000, considering that the author of the T&Cs had not demonstrated the specific expertise or know-how in question. In addition, the  defendant  was ordered to pay an additional €1,000 for legal costs.

The validity of the bailiff’s report and the establishment: –

The validity of the bailiff’s report and the establishment of the duplicity of the GCS During the trial, the defendant challenged the validity of the bailiff’s report, citing technical shortcomings which made it unreliable. The court recognized the defendant’s objection but ultimately decided that despite the shortcomings, the report could still be admitted as evidence, but not as a prima facie case.

The court adopted a pragmatic approach, considering that the disputed report was sufficient to establish that the GCS in question were indeed duplicates of the originals. The person responsible for the reproduction of the text had neglected the need to modify the inaccurate mentions relating to his status as an auto-entrepreneur.

Reproducing the T&Cs from another website without modification was considered parasitic, as it allowed the copyist to benefit from the effort and investment of the original creator without incurring the same expense. By exploiting the same terms, the copier has gained an advantage in terms of cost and time savings. This unfair practice created a competitive imbalance in the market, which justified the award of damages to the plaintiff.

Nevertheless, the court acknowledged that the damages suffered by the plaintiff were difficult to quantify with precision. The  awarded amount  of €1,000 was deemed reasonable, taking into account the savings of the copyist and the lack of evidence regarding the unique expertise required to draw up the GCS. The court pointed out that higher compensation could only be justified if the author of the T&Cs had demonstrated particular know-how or proprietary techniques that contributed significantly to their originality.

In addition to damages, the defendant had to pay €1,000 in legal costs. This covered the expenses incurred by the plaintiff in pursuing legal action and seeking a solution to the parasitic act committed by the defendant.

In conclusion , the judgment of the Commercial Court of Paris in this case highlights the legal consequences of the identical reproduction of the GCS from another website. It emphasizes the importance of respecting intellectual property rights, discouraging parasitic behavior and recognizing the value of the investments made by original creators.