Court blocks company’s

Online recruiting company StepStone ASA has obtained a court injunction in Germany preventing a competitor from providing hypertext links to StepStone’s online job advertisements. The lawsuit is expected to provide an important test of the legality of “deep links,” which bypass home pages and go directly to information deep within a site.

The case, against Danish media group AS, is one of the first based on new European Union copyright and database regulations, StepStone’s legal firm Osborne Clarke OWA said in a statement Wednesday.

OFiR, which owns online recruitment services competing with StepStone’s in Denmark, France, Germany and the U.K., has since removed the links, which were used to back a claim about the large number of job listings OFiR offers, Osborne Clarke said. StepStone objected to the link as “prejudicial to its brand position in the long term,” and because the deep link bypassed its home page and banner advertising.

OFiR Managing Director J