Region: Belgium

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

Court finds EVIDENCE of confusion in underwear case

The Brussels Commercial Court has upheld a complaint against the defendant's use of the mark EVIDENCE for underwear. Noting the importance of aural similarity in relation to marks for underwear as, when worn, underwear is not usually visible to the public at large, the court held that the mark was confusingly similar to an earlier EMINENCE mark for similar products.

19 February 2007

Wine relabelling scam smashed

In <i>Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne v Simon</i>, the Court of First Instance of Namur (Criminal Division) has hit the defendant with an 18-month suspended prison sentence and a fine for his part in, among other things, the importation and sale of sparkling wine from Spain which had been relabelled so as to appear that the wine came from the Champagne region in France.

02 February 2007

'.be' dispute resolution to become cheaper

DNS .BE, the Belgian domain name registrar, has announced that it will be amending its general terms and conditions so that successful complainants in '.be' alternative dispute resolution procedures will recuperate half the fees paid. The cost of bringing a complaint under the '.be' dispute resolution procedure will therefore be reduced from around €1,600 to €800 in the event of a successful complaint.

19 January 2007

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