Region: Belgium


Featured in Anti-counterfeiting 2015 – A Global Guide

Belgium is a party to all major international agreements in the IP field, including the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights. In addition, the main substantive IP laws applicable in Belgium are contained in national laws, EU regulations and a Benelux convention.

08 May 2015

Cooperation to combat counterfeiting

Featured in Anti-counterfeiting 2015 – A Global Guide

According to a recent CNN Money article, some companies have estimated that up to 80% of their goods found on internet marketplace are counterfeit. Meanwhile, Australia has announced that it has found counterfeit items in genuine packaging. Every day brings similar news of counterfeiting activity and heightened concerns as such goods may endanger the health and safety of consumers.

08 May 2015

Brussels Commercial Court bares its teeth and protects shape of dog food

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.

12 December 2014

Gucci's international GG marks revoked in Benelux following 'harsh' decision

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.

16 September 2014

'.be' domain name holders may now request list of variations of their domain name

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.

19 March 2014

eBay's unlawful comparative advertising held not to amount to trademark infringement

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.

11 February 2014

Brussels Court of Appeal decides on Belgian beer battle

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.

06 January 2014

When can silence be taken as agreement to destruction of counterfeit goods?

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.

26 November 2013

Use of 'OsCar' by insurance company held to infringe well-known OSCAR mark

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…”.

02 October 2013

'.be' registry to allow IDNs

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.

14 March 2013

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