Region: Netherlands

Use of LINDOWS mark in small print is legitimate

The District Court of Amsterdam has rejected Microsoft's claim that the use of the LINDOWS mark in small print on Lindows's website and manuals breaches a January ruling that ordered Lindows to cease using the mark and trade name in Benelux. Although Microsoft has since settled the LINDOWS trademark suits, the decision, which seems to indicate that minor infringements may be overlooked by Dutch courts, may create some uncertainty.

29 July 2004

McDonald's outwitted in MCSMART dispute

The District Court of Utrecht has refused to order the cancellation of the Benelux mark MCSMART used in conjunction with the sale of, among other things, articles related to the smoking of cannabis. The court held that the registration would not cause confusion with, nor dilute, McDonald's series of MC trademarks.

23 June 2004

Kokura confusingly similar to OKURA, rules court

In <i>Hotel Okura Amsterdam BV v De Gouden Wok BV</i>, the District Court of The Hague has enjoined the defendant from using Kokura as the name of its Japanese restaurant and in its domain name. The court held that Kokura was confusingly similar to the plaintiff's OKURA Community trademark registered for, among other things, restaurant services.

11 June 2004

CLEARSHIELD mark transferred as preliminary relief

In <i>Ritec International Ltd v Ritec Holland BV</i>, the President of the District Court of Breda has ordered the transfer of trademark registrations for CLEARSHIELD and RITEC, holding that Ritec International's former distribution agent had filed the registrations in bad faith. The decision is remarkable as the order was issued in the course of preliminary court proceedings.

25 February 2004

Microsoft cracks down on Lindows in Benelux

In <i>Microsoft Corporation v Inc</i>, the District Court of Amsterdam has ruled, in summary proceedings, that the use of the marks LINDOWS, LINDOWS.COM and LINDOWSOS infringed Microsoft's rights in its famous WINDOWS trademark. The court ordered, among other things, that Lindows make its website inaccessible to Benelux internet users.

19 February 2004

Blue and silver colour combination infringes RED BULL mark

In <i>Red Bull GmbH v United Softdrinks BV</i>, the District Court of Utrecht has ruled that (i) Red Bull's trademark for the blue and silver colour combination used on its energy drink cans qualifies as a valid colour mark, and (ii) United Softdrinks' use of similar colours on its energy drink cans infringed that mark.

27 January 2004

WIPO issues first decision under '.nl' arbitration rules

In <i>Consitex SA v Gerolanda</i>, the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre has issued its first decision under the Regulations for Arbitration on '.nl' Domain Names, ordering the transfer of the domain name '' to the complainant.

12 January 2004

Block on '.com' domain name may curb online infringement

In a decision that is likely to have an impact on trademark owners and practitioners, the Amsterdam District Court has ruled that '.com' top-level domain names, hosting websites offering goods that infringe rights protected in the Netherlands, can be made inaccessible to Dutch consumers. This may give trademark owners a new method of stopping online infringement.

16 October 2003

Red Bull wins fight with Blue Parrot

In <i>Red Bull GmbH v Blue Parrot</i>, the District Court of Den Bosch has ruled that the defendant nightclub's policy of serving energy drinks sold under the brand name 'Xi Climax' to customers who had specifically asked for a Red Bull drink, without informing them of this fact, infringed the plaintiff's rights in its RED BULL mark.

11 September 2003

Grey-goods importer must disclose name of exporter

In <i>Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG v GTO Expeditie BV</i>, the Civil Court of The Hague has ordered the defendant, a Dutch importer of grey-market goods, to disclose to the plaintiff the name of the East European exporter of the goods. The court noted that the plaintiff's trademark rights had been violated and the order was necessary to find the source of the infringement.

12 June 2003

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