Maritime and Commercial Court prohibits use of 'Samshop'

Denmark

In the recent Maritime and Commercial Court case of Samsonite IP Holdings Sàrl v Helm I/S, Samsonite - the well-known manufacturer and seller of suitcases and bags - claimed that Helm, its dealer, should be prohibited from using the designation and domain name 'samshop.dk' in connection with the marketing and sale of Samsonite suitcases and bags.

Samsonite claimed that the designation 'samshop.dk' violated its trademarks. Further, Samsonite claimed that the use of the domain name in connection with the sale of suitcases and bags was a violation of its rights according to the Marketing Act.

Samsonite was the owner of the trademarks SAMSONITE and SAMMIES BY SAMSONITE.

The court found that the trademark SAMSONITE was well known in Denmark for suitcases and bags. The court also ascertained that Helm was using the designation 'samshop.dk' for identical products. However, the court did not find that the designation 'Samshop' was confusingly similar to Samsonite's two trademarks, as the word 'sam' seen in isolation did not look like the aforementioned trademarks. Consequently, the court found that there was no violation of Samsonite's trademark rights.

However, the court found that Helm's use of the business designation and domain name 'samshop.dk' in connection with the marketing of suitcases and bags, even with the Samsonite brand, implied a violation of Section 1 of the Marketing Act on good marketing practice, as well as Section 18, according to which traders cannot use their own designations in a way which could cause confusion with the designations of others.

Following this, the court prohibited Helm from using the designations 'Samshop' and 'Samshop.dk' in connection with the sale of suitcases and bags.

Mads Marstrand-Jørgensen, NJORD Law Firm, Copenhagen

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