Region: Belgium

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

SWIFT justice granted against SWIFTPAY site

The Brussels Court of Appeal has confirmed a first instance decision of the Commercial Court of Nivelles and has ordered the Irish company Swiftpay International Limited to cease all use of the signs SWIFT, SWIFTPAY and SWIFTPAY.COM, and delete its 'swiftpay.com' domain name. The court held that the signs were likely to lead consumers to link the Irish company with the Benelux-based owner of registered SWIFT marks.

31 October 2006

Belgacom Skynet brings 'skyblog.be' user back down to earth

In <i>Belgacom Skynet v Telefun</i>, the Brussels Commercial Court has ordered the defendant to stop using the domain name 'skyblog.be'. The court held that the domain name and related website infringed the plaintiff's rights in its reputed SKYNET, SKYNET.BE and SKYNETBLOG.BE marks.

27 March 2006

Champagne beer comparative advertising case referred to ECJ

The Brussels Court of Appeal has made a reference to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling in proceedings relating to the use of references to the appellation of origin Champagne to promote beer. Among other things, the court required clarification as to whether certain statements likening the beer to champagne fell within the definition of 'comparative advertising' under harmonized EU law.

02 February 2006

Slogan mark battle sees win for Interbrew

In a long-running dispute over use of the slogan '<i>Les hommes savent pourquoi</i>' (meaning 'Men know why'), the Liège Court of Appeal has ruled that the slogan constitutes a reputed mark for beer and that the use of an identical slogan by another party for underwear would cause the public to establish a link with the beer product, which was likely to be detrimental to the repute of the beer.

21 November 2005

Czech brewer can use BUDWEISER but not BUD in Benelux

In the ongoing battle between US company Anheuser Busch and Czech brewer Budĕjovický Budvar, the Brussels Commercial Court has shed new light upon the use of the parties' conflicting trademarks in Benelux. The court held that the Czech company can continue to use the marks BUDWEISER and BUDVAR for its beer but could not use the mark BUD.

31 May 2005

No transfer of 'startpagina.be' to owner of 'startpagina.nl'

In <i>Startpagina BV v Take BVBA</i>, a CEPINA panellist has refused to order the transfer of the domain name 'startpagina.be' to the Dutch company Startpagina - the owner of marks and a domain name that include the word 'startpagina'. The panellist held, among other things, that as the two parties' target internet users differed geographically, bad faith could not be inferred.

26 January 2005

Schering succeeds in halting infringing parallel imports

In <i>Schering AG v Aktuapharma</i>, the Brussels Court of Appeal has ruled that the defendant's parallel importation and repackaging of the plaintiff's pharmaceutical product Femodene infringed the plaintiff's trademark rights. The court also laid down the conditions under which further parallel importation of the plaintiff's product could take place.

26 October 2004

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