Region: Belgium

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

Mock-ups no proper notification of repackaged pharmaceutical parallel imports

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.

04 March 2013

Unprotected products may be copied - but shop and website cannot be confusing

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.

09 January 2013

No more dodging the bullet: Red Bull obtains injunction against intermediary

The Commercial Court of Brussels has held that Konings, a Belgian company which filled empty cans bearing the mark BULLET with energy drink, had infringed the trademark rights of Red Bull, the owner of the BULLIT mark. Konings was an intermediary acting on the instructions of a third party. The court held that, although Konings did not make use of the BULLET mark, it was nevertheless liable as an intermediary.

30 October 2012

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