Exclusive roundtable – how four leading IP offices are cracking down on scams and fraudulent activity

The Long Read: Scams targeting trademark owners are fast becoming commonplace and increasingly sophisticated. Four leading IP offices share their insights on which scams are most prevalent, what you can do to stay safe, the resources on offer to help and how offices are collaborating across borders to fight fraudsters.

Exclusive roundtable – how four leading IP offices are cracking down on scams and fraudulent activity
Innovation at the Benelux IP Office: spotlight on cutting-edge tools and services
9 Mar 2021

Innovation at the Benelux IP Office: spotlight on cutting-edge tools and services

In an exclusive guest post, the Benelux IP Office reveals its innovative non-core tools and services for trademark users – and some of those planned for the future.

The problem with likelihood of confusion: why EU trademark law should rely less on ‘real consumers’
6 Oct 2020

The problem with likelihood of confusion: why EU trademark law should rely less on ‘real consumers’

A new study analysing trademark infringement cases in the European Union has found that third parties are “being forced to use less effective trademarks” due to an imbalance in EU trademark law.


View all
1 Sep 2021

The BIBBY case: bad faith and bad karma

Samsung has prevailed in a dispute with EBB Development, owned by notorious trademark filer Michael Gleissner, with the Court of Appeal of the Hague ruling that EBB had acted in bad faith when applying for the Benelux trademark BIBBY. Read more

8 Apr 2021

Jurisdictional perspective: Benelux

Two trademark experts in the Netherlands – Turnstone attorney Michiel Haegens and Leeway attorney at law Jos Klaus – reflect on the impact of Gleissner’s activities on the Benelux IP ecosystem. Read more

31 Mar 2021

Supreme Court: no additional circumstances required in the assessment of descriptive trade names

In this dispute between British cheese manufacturer Dairy Partners and Dutch dairy company DOC Dairy Partners, the Dutch Supreme Court has put an end to longstanding uncertainty concerning the protection of descriptive trade names. Read more

24 Sep 2020

‘Sea of reptiles’ found to infringe Lacoste’s crocodile mark

Lacoste’s success on appeal in this case demonstrates the importance of market surveys to show a likelihood of confusion. Read more


View all
5 Mar 2020

Trademark procedures and strategies: Benelux

No separate trademark laws exist in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. Read more

28 Mar 2019

How Signify’s IP team undertook its global rebrand from Philips Lighting: exclusive interview

Senior IP counsel Joeri Mombers provides a detailed insider’s view of lighting giant Signify's "once in a lifetime" trademark project. Read more

7 Feb 2017

How online monitoring can support offline investigations

Many brand protection strategies still focus on bulk seizures, customs training and border protection. However, success depends on protecting your company against online counterfeiting and piracy in a way that fits the realities of the digital age.

Read more

3 Oct 2016

EU customs seizures skyrocketed in 2015; concerns raised that counterfeit issue being ‘massively underestimated’

The European Commission’s latest annual report into EU customs enforcement has found that the level of suspected counterfeit articles detained by authorities rose by 15% year-on-year, with the number of applications for action up by a startling 59% across the same time period. While the estimated value of the detailed articles totals nearly €650 million, one expert claims the report could be massively underestimating the scope of the problem.

Read more

Brand management

View all
5 Feb 2020

"Trademark troll" Michael Gleissner launches N-Cubator brand consultancy

WTR has discovered that multi-millionaire Michael Gleissner appears to have launched a brand consultancy firm, called N-Cubator, which boasts of having access to “a large portfolio of trademarks and domain names”. Read more

31 Jan 2020

Saudi Aramco makes an impressive brand debut but challenges lie ahead for the industry: data analysis

Big Oil has traditionally flown under the radar when it comes to brand building, but changing tides mean that there must be a greater focus on the narrative surrounding the key companies involved. Read more

13 Dec 2019

“Europe is not yet prepared” – reaction as Cannabis mark ruled unregistrable by EU court

The General Court of the European Union has ruled against a trademark due to its implied links to illegal narcotics. Industry experts give their reaction. Read more

22 Nov 2019

Michael Gleissner versus Apple and Samsung: millionaire defeated in Benelux and UK

Two recent trademark cases in Benelux and the UK have landed significant blows to notorious millionaire Michael Gleissner’s unprecedented trademark activity. According to one expert, they clearly demonstrate that IP offices are “not a playground for vexatious parties”. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

View all
31 Mar 2020

adidas v H&M: H&M did not cross the line with its two-stripe sign

Following a 23-year-long trademark dispute between adidas and H&M, the Court of Appeal of The Hague has ruled that H&M’s use of a specific two-stripe sign on its sports clothing did not infringe adidas’s three-stripe mark. Read more

30 Jan 2020

“Justice has been done” – H&M prevails in long-running two-stripes trademark battle

In what could be the end of the oldest pending two-stripes legal case in the European Union, H&M has been victorious against adidas in a trademark dispute in the Netherlands, with what one attorney describes as a “far-reaching decision”. Read more

6 Sep 2019

Dutch court of appeal sets up confidentiality club in IP proceedings

In a promising development, the Court of Appeal of The Hague has set up a confidentiality club to allow the alleged infringer to submit confidential information in trademark proceedings. Read more

29 Jul 2019

The top filers and a vision for the future: inside EUIPO operations

Less than a year into Christian Archambeau’s tenure as executive director, the EUIPO is laying the groundwork for future expansion. World Trademark Review’s annual focus on the office assesses current operations, reveals the most proactive filers and explores how the agency is taking a global view of trademarks. Read more


View all
21 Jan 2020

“UK will become paradise for free riders”: CJEU referral highlights potential Brexit IP schism

Four questions have been referred to the CJEU which could lead to a landmark judgement on a trademark owners’ rights to stop resales. The decision may further enlarge the gulf between the UK and the EU's position on exhaustion post-Brexit. Read more

25 Feb 2019

UKIPO ranked most accessible IP office platform, as registries urged to improve website usability

New research from WTR has found that the IP offices of the UK, Brazil, Japan and Benelux have the most accessible website platforms for users, including those with motor or vision impairment. Read more

12 Sep 2018

Trademark procedures and strategies: Benelux

The Benelux Convention does not provide for protection of unregistered trademarks, the only exception being the protection of well-known marks as prescribed by the Paris Convention. Read more

Law Firms

View all
24 Aug 2018

A-Z of EU trademark court practice and performance: Netherlands to Slovenia

In the fourth of our five-part series, trademark counsel from law firms across Europe provide an overview of the performance of their countries’ EU trademark courts over the past two years. Read more

29 Jul 2016

Dramatic shift in Benelux trademark landscape sees lines blurring between law firms and agencies

This week, the <i>WTR 1000</i> research team looks at the blurring line between law firms and trademark agencies in the Benelux jurisdictions in recent years. A number of factors account for the significant changes in the relationship between these two sets of service-providers. However, the map has not yet been redrawn and the old specialisations may prove more resilient than one might assume.

Read more

IP Offices

View all
1 May 2019

Passing the baton: a new era at BOIP

As a new director general of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property takes over, a new era at the registry begins. To mark this change, representatives from the office look at what the future is likely to bring. Read more

29 Jan 2019

The Gleissner Files 2019: brand owners warned as IP office reveals staggering number of trademark applications

A major investigation by WTR can reveal that entrepreneur and serial trademark filer Michael Gleissner has stepped up his IP activity in recent months, with over 100 applications filed so far this year. Read more


View all
6 May 2020

Complainant gets a grilling under ‘.nl’ regulations

In a recent decision under the Dispute Resolution Regulations for ‘.nl’ Domain Names, a WIPO panel has found that the dispute involved complex contractual considerations outside of the scope of the regulations, which were intended to deal with clear-cut abuse. Read more

11 Apr 2017

Decision under '.nl' Dispute Resolution Regulations show that UDRP precedents serve as important source of reference

In a recent domain name dispute before WIPO, a German toy manufacturer has obtained the transfer of a ‘.nl’ domain name identically reproducing its trademark under the Dispute Resolution Regulations for ‘.nl’ Domain Names. The decision shows that, whilst many ccTLDs have adopted their own domain name dispute resolution policies, UDRP precedents and principles are an important source of reference.

Read more

4 Feb 2016

How online monitoring can support offline investigations

Many brand protection strategies still focus on bulk seizures, customs training and border protection. However, success depends on protecting your company against online counterfeiting and piracy in a way that fits the realities of the digital age.

Read more

20 Feb 2015

SIDN releases 2014 growth rate figures for '.nl' domain names

SIDN, the registry responsible for ‘.nl’, has announced that it had 5,531,186 domain names under management at the end of 2014, representing an increase of 2.7% compared to 2013. However, this rate of growth is slightly down compared to the figures from 2013, and one of the contributing factors to the slowdown in net growth has been the increase in the number of cancelled domain names.

Read more

Portfolio Management

View all
30 Jan 2018

Court of Appeals of The Hague: vodka marks must be handed back to Russian state enterprise

The Court of Appeals of The Hague has ruled in favour of Russian state enterprise FKP in the long-running dispute between FKP and Spirits International BV over the ownership of several vodka marks.

Read more

11 Dec 2017

Protecting and enforcing design rights: Benelux

Benelux design law is governed by the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property, the current version of which entered into force on October 1 2013. The convention replaced the Benelux Design Law 1975, which was the first law providing uniform design protection in multiple EU member states and was heralded as such in the preamble of the EU Community Design Regulation. Read more

27 Nov 2017

Court finds no likelihood of confusion between SINA and SITA

The court of first instance has refused to grant an injunction against the sign SINA, finding no risk of confusion or association with the word mark SITA. Both marks were registered for rice sold in Middle-Eastern supermarkets or restaurants. The court held that the relevant public would be able to distinguish that ‘Sina’ is the name of a well-known Islamic scholar and philosopher, whereas ‘Sita’ is a girl’s name. Read more

17 Jan 2017

The battle of Porsche versus [email protected]

The District Court of The Hague has rendered a judgment in a case brought by Porsche against an unnamed individual. Both parties had met previously in court in 2012, when it was ruled that the defendant had filed a trademark application for the word PORSCHE in bad faith.

Read more

Trademark law

View all
20 Jul 2018

Well-known marks: approaches to fame in Europe

Obtaining well-known status for a trademark can be a powerful tool for rights holders. In the third of a three part series, this article considers the best route in key European jurisdictions Read more

8 Jan 2018

adidas wins latest dispute against H&M in Hague Court

The District Court of The Hague has ruled in favour of adidas in the main proceedings of its saga against H&M regarding the companies' respective stripe marks. Read more

14 Apr 2015

Rotterdam District Court holds that Spirits does not own Benelux vodka marks

The Rotterdam District Court has held that Spirits International had never legally acquired three Benelux marks for vodka, which were originally registered in the name of a Soviet state enterprise. Spirits claimed that it had legally acquired these registrations following the fall of the Soviet Union, but plaintiff FKP, which acted on behalf of the Russian Federation, argued that the marks had been unlawfully taken from the Russian state.

Read more

11 Dec 2014


Benelux (comprising Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) has unified law, meaning that it is possible to acquire design rights only for the three countries together.

Read more