World-famous restaurant compensated for fraudulent use of its name


In Noma af 2003 Aps v Mikkelsen Media ApS (V-54-11, June 15 2012), the Maritime and Commercial Court has found in favour of world-famous restaurant Noma.

Noma, a restaurant in Copenhagen, owns a trademark registration for the word mark NOMA. The first defendant - Mikkelsen Media ApS - is Denmark's biggest media bureau and mainly handles online marketing. The second defendant - Homeenter AB - is part of the Swedish Bonnier Group and deals with internet sales of film, music and events, among other things. For a limited period, Homeenter attempted to sell membership to a chocolate club named 'club Chokolade' and asked Mikkelsen to market the club on the internet.

In its advertisements and newsletter, Mikkelsen referred to Restaurant Noma (eg, "Be the winner of a dinner at the world's best restaurant") and mentioned the designation Noma directly (eg, "Hurry up to confirm your chance to have a fantastic experience at the world's best restaurant - Noma").

Noma sued Mikkelsen and Homeenter for violation of its trademark rights and for violation of the Act on Marketing Practice.

The court found for Noma. It stated, among other things, that Noma is without doubt extremely well known and that the defendants must have considered it of great value to link to the designation Noma. The court found that the defendants' use of the designation Noma could harm the reputation of the trademark. Furthermore, the defendants had acted contrary to good marketing practice.

The court did not find that Noma had proven that it had suffered a loss, but held that it was nonetheless entitled to compensation for the use of its name. This compensation was fixed at Dkr150,000. Examining the relationship between Mikkelsen and Homeenter, the court found that Mikkelsen must pay the entire amount, as it was Mikkelsen's duty to make sure that the advertisement was legal. Mikkelsen and Homeenter were ordered to pay Dkr25,000 as costs to Noma. In addition, Mikkelsen was ordered to pay Dkr25,000 to Homeenter.

Mads Marstrand-Jørgensen, Norsker & Co, Copenhagen

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