Region: Belgium

Two different outcomes in cases involving descriptive word combinations

In cases involving the marks AQUACLEAN and DERM'INTIM, the Court of Cassation has ruled on two appeals on a point of law by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property against judgments of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The different outcomes of the cases might suggest that the Court of Cassation was torn between a more permissive and a more restrictive approach to word marks that combine descriptive components.

25 January 2011

DNS BE unblocks domain names

The Belgian domain name registry has released approximately 200,000 '.be' domain names which had previously been blocked from registration. The domain names had been made unavailable for registration as part of the globally coordinated response against the notorious Conficker worm.

10 May 2010

DNS BE cancels 163 domain names

DNS BE, the registry responsible for the administration of the Belgian country-code top-level domain, has announced that it has cancelled 163 domain names which were being used in phishing scams. DNS BE cooperated with the Federal Computer Crime Unit, which filed a complaint with the relevant court.

07 April 2009

eBay scores victory over Lancôme

The Brussels Commercial Court has ruled in favour of eBay in a dispute over its liability for the sale of counterfeit Lancôme goods on its online auction platforms. Among other things, the court held that eBay, as a provider of hosting services, could rely on the exemption set forth by Article 14 of the E-commerce Directive.

26 September 2008

New version of '.be' registry's terms and conditions issued

DNS BE, the registry responsible for the organization of the Belgian country-code top-level domain, '.be', has issued a new version of its terms and conditions which further increases the privacy of private domain name holders. Among other things, the new terms and conditions state that the WHOIS of a private domain name holder will no longer provide the name and address.

18 April 2008

New legislation on recovery of attorneys' fees enters into force

After years of legal uncertainty as to the recovery of attorneys' fees in Belgium, a new act and a royal decree clarifying the issue have entered into force. The new legislation provides an elaborate framework in the form of a grid indicating a minimum, standard and maximum amount to be awarded depending on the circumstances involved.

05 March 2008

Trade dress infringement claim rejected by Commercial Court

In <i>Masterfoods BV v Nestlé Belgilux NV</i>, the Antwerp Commercial Court has dismissed the plaintiff's claim that the packaging of the defendant's KitKat Ball product infringed the trade dress of its Maltesers product. Among other things, the court held that the fact that the word marks NESTLÉ and KITKAT appeared as part of the challenged trade dress excluded any likelihood of confusion.

06 June 2007

Slogan mark refusal overturned by Brussels court

The Brussels Court of Appeal has reversed a decision of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property and has allowed the registration of the slogan mark ON A JAMAIS BU ÇA! (meaning 'one has never drunk that!') for flavoured waters. The court concluded that neither freedom of trade nor the public interest required that the slogan be kept free for use by the applicant's competitors.

27 April 2007


The Antwerp Commercial Court has issued a decision that illustrates the principles set out by the European Court of Justice in the <i>THOMSON LIFE</i> decision. The Antwerp court held that the inclusion of the word 'lifestyle' in each of the opposing LIFESTYLE and LIFESTYLE IN DIGITAL marks rendered them confusingly similar.

16 March 2007

Favourable changes to '.be' domain come into force

New terms and conditions for '.be' domain names, which are favourable to mark owners, will come into force on March 15. The changes include faster implementation of dispute resolution decisions, partial recovery of costs for successful complainants and partial responsibility for dispute resolution costs by cybersquatters.

14 March 2007

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