Region: Belgium

Validity of Veuve Clicquot's orange mark affirmed

The Brussels Court of Appeals has (i) upheld the validity of an orange colour mark owned by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, manufacturer of the famous Veuve Clicquot champagne, and (ii) issued an order preventing the use of this colour for beer.

26 July 2004

'belgianbeer.be' decision tastes bitter to Belgian Brewers Union

In <i>Confederatie Brouwerijen Belgie v Meuleman</i>, Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation panellist Karine Ottelohe has refused to order the transfer of the domain name 'belgianbeer.be' to the Union of Belgian Brewers. Ottelohe held that the domain name had not been registered in bad faith.

27 May 2004

Saisie-contrefaçon proceedings allowed for trademark owners

The Belgian Constitutional Court has ruled that trademark owners should be allowed to request seizure orders for suspected counterfeit goods, even though the Belgian Judicial Code does not list mark owners among the parties eligible for such relief. The court held that not allowing mark owners to use these proceedings would violate the provisions of the Belgian Constitution on equality and non-discrimination.

18 May 2004

NEW TEL Benelux registration cancelled by Belgian court

The Antwerp Court of Appeal has dismissed an infringement claim and has upheld a counterclaim for cancellation of the Benelux registered NEW TEL mark. The court held that a mark consisting of a word made up of elements that separately lack distinctiveness does not necessarily become distinctive as a result of the act of combining those elements.

23 April 2004

'Belgie.be' transferred to the Belgian State

In <i>De Belgische Staat v Domain Services Rotterdam BV</i>, panellist Catherine Erkelens of the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation has ordered the transfer of 'belgie.be' to the Belgian State. Erkelens held that the domain name was identical to the complainant's geographical designation and had been registered in bad faith.

02 March 2004

Cybersquatting law codifies and extends domain name protection

A new law regarding the abusive registration of domain names has been published. Although Belgian courts and alternative dispute resolution entities have been successful in adapting existing legislation to deal with abusive registrations, the law codifies and extends domain name protection in Belgium.

04 November 2003

BIO-MAGNUM mark infringed by descriptive Bio-Magnesium name

In <i>Bio-Fyt Pharma v Pharma Nord</i>, the Brussels Commercial Court has ruled that the defendant's use of the descriptive name Bio-Magnesium for its food supplements infringed the plaintiff's BIO-MAGNUM mark for similar goods. The court held that BIO-MAGNUM is sufficiently distinctive to warrant protection.

14 October 2003

Registrar liberalizes ccTLD transfers

DNS Belgium has adopted a new domain name transfer policy for names registered in the country-code top-level domain. Pursuant to this policy, once an application is made through a registered agent, DNS Belgium will only require that the transferor and transferee confirm that they agree to the transfer.

05 March 2003

'Napster.be' nabbed by Napster

In <i>Napster Inc v TheInternetOne CV</i>, panellist Yves Van Couter at the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation has ordered the transfer of 'napster.be' to Napster. Couter held that the domain name was identical to the complainant's famous NAPSTER mark and had been registered in bad faith.

27 February 2003

Brewer banned from naming product 'Champagnebier'

Applying Belgian law on geographical indications and fair trade practices, the Nivelles Commercial Court has ordered beer producer SA de Landtsheer to cease using the word 'champagne' in relation to its new product, as well as the slogan 'the beer world's answer to Veuve Cliquot'.

04 February 2003

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