Judith Bussé, counsel and a member of the Crowell & Moring IP group, reveals how the firm’s hiring practices and formal actions are part of a proactive effort to create positive change on a national and international level.
Two trademark experts in the Netherlands – Turnstone attorney Michiel Haegens and Leeway attorney at law Jos Klaus – reflect on the impact of Gleissner’s activities on the Benelux IP ecosystem. Read more
VF International, the owner of the NAPAPIJRI position mark for premium winter jackets, has prevailed in a dispute over the use of the figurative mark NORTH VALLEY in a similar position on winter jackets. Read more
In our latest edition, we look at a major anti-counterfeiting operation from Interpol, Facebook facing challenges over its new cryptocurrency brand, Egypt updating its new anti-fakes legislation, and much more. Read more
In our latest round-up, we look at Swedish trademark legislation updating to align with the new EU directive, an controversial Oxford University trademark application, counterfeit wine in China, and much more. Read more
In our latest round-up, we look at a study showing the scale of illicit alcohol, a Counterfeit Mini ad being lauded, luxury brands' increasing use of sound design in their products, and much more. Read more
Two recent trademark cases in Benelux and the UK have landed significant blows to notorious millionaire Michael Gleissner’s unprecedented trademark activity. According to one expert, they clearly demonstrate that IP offices are “not a playground for vexatious parties”. Read more
Less than a year into Christian Archambeau’s tenure as executive director, the EUIPO is laying the groundwork for future expansion. World Trademark Review’s annual focus on the office assesses current operations, reveals the most proactive filers and explores how the agency is taking a global view of trademarks. Read more
A groundbreaking decision of the Ghent Court of Appeal has significantly increased the chances for third parties to successfully register their SPA brand in Class 3 at the Benelux and EU level. Read more
The Antwerp Commercial Court has held that, when assessing the similarity between a registered trademark and a sign in an infringement action, the trademark can be assessed only as registered (ie, greyscale in the present case). The court's reasoning with regard to the protection afforded to greyscale trademarks is debatable and is likely to be contradicted by higher courts.
In a recent judgment on the merits, the Brussels Commercial Court has held that the X shape of Mars’ Dentastix dog food constituted a valid 3D CTM and Benelux design. Both IP rights had been invoked against a Belgian company commercialising X-shaped chew sticks for dogs on the European market. Among other things, the court held that the defendant sought to free-ride on Mars’ DENTASTIX mark and to benefit from its power of attraction.
New research from WTR has found that the IP offices of the UK, Brazil, Japan and Benelux have the most accessible website platforms for users, including those with motor or vision impairment. Read more
National IP offices within the European Union, key trademark associations and leading filing law firms in the EU react to the appointment of Christian Archambeau as the new executive director of the EUIPO. Read more
As a new director general of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property takes over, a new era at the registry begins. To mark this change, representatives from the office look at what the future is likely to bring. Read more
DNS Belgium, the registry responsible for the management of ‘.be’ domain names, has announced that it is now possible for holders of a ‘.be’ domain name to request a list of variations of their domain name. This service will allow domain name holders to identify where variants of their domain name have been registered and allow them to assess whether the listed registrations are problematic.
In <i>Media Markt v eBay</i>, the Court of Appeal of Brussels has clarified that comparative advertising that uses a third-party trademark, but does not meet the requirements of comparative advertising, does not automatically constitute trademark infringement. Among other things, the court held that it was unlikely that eBay’s use of identical signs in relation to identical goods was likely to affect any of the trademarks’ functions.
The Belgian registry, DNS.BE, has announced that it will allow the registration of IDNs under ‘.be’ in June. Importantly, there will not be a sunrise period to enable trademark holders to protect their IP rights in priority, nor will there be a grandfathering period to enable registrants of existing ‘.be’ domain names to register the corresponding IDNs.
DNS.BE, the registry responsible for the administration of the Belgian country-code top-level domain, ‘.be’, has made a number of amendments to its alternative dispute resolution procedure, implemented on January 1 2011. The main amendment is that ‘.be’ complaint managers now have the possibility to notify parties if an error has been made in a complaint or a response.
The Commercial Court of Brussels has ordered the revocation of Gucci’s international registrations for its GG mark in the Benelux on the ground of non-use. The court dismissed Gucci’s claim that use of its CTM could be considered as use of its international marks, finding that the CTM was not a modernised version of the international registrations. In view of previous EU and Belgian case law, this decision seems harsh.
The Brussels Court of Appeal has held that Anheuser-Bush InBev had infringed a colour mark owned by Alken-Maes, one of Belgium's oldest breweries, by using the colour blue for its beer packaging. This ruling is the latest in a series of decisions in which the Belgian courts have ruled in favour of the owners of colour marks.
The Court of Appeal has issued an injunction preventing Belgian bank and insurance company DVV from using the sign 'OsCar' in the course of trade, finding that it infringed the well-known CTM OSCAR of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. DVV had launched a <i>bonus-malus</i> system under the name OsCar, using the slogan “And the OsCar goes to…”.
The Brussels Commercial Court has annulled two DUFF BEER marks owned by Twentieth Century Fox. Duff beer is a fictional brand of beer in the television series <i>The Simpsons</i>. Arguably, it seems unfair that the owner of a trademark which is well known in relation to products from a virtual world remains unprotected against third parties which try to reap the benefit of the owner's investment.
Obtaining well-known status for a trademark can be a powerful tool for rights holders. In the third of a three part series, this article considers the best route in key European jurisdictions Read more
The Brussels Court of First Instance has ruled that, where the period mentioned in Article 11 of the EU Customs Regulation (1383/2003) has expired and the declarant has not expressly opposed the simplified procedure (which enables the customs authorities to destroy the goods without formal IP infringement proceedings), its silence can be deemed as consent to use the simplified procedure, regardless of receipt of any formal notice.
In <i>PI Pharma v Novartis</i>, the Brussels Court of Appeal has expressed its views on the notification obligation of parallel importers of repackaged pharmaceuticals. It ruled that PI Pharma had not properly notified Novartis, the holder of the VENORUTON mark, when it provided a blister and a two-dimensional mock-up of the outer packaging, rather than an actual sample, of the repackaged pharmaceutical as it would be presented on sale.
In <i>Cousins & Co v Melan</i>, the Mons Court of Appeal has confirmed that, where no IP right protects a product or service, unfair competition law may not be used to fill the gap. However, the court also confirmed that the related circumstances of the offer - here, the use of a similar website and shop - can be prohibited if they are likely to create confusion for consumers.