Region: Netherlands

The shoe that fits Louboutin pinches Van Haren

The Court of The Hague has found that Dutch shoe company Van Haren had infringed Louboutin’s red sole trademark by selling high-heeled red-sole shoes. The court found that, although consumers might not be confused when considering buying the goods (Louboutin's shoes are available only in exclusive shops at a price significantly higher than Van Haren's shoes), the similarity of the shoes could lead to post-sale confusion.

03 May 2013

Court rules that Samsung tablets do not infringe Apple's Community design

In one of the many disputes between Apple and Samsung over the design of computer tablets, the District Court of The Hague has held that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7, Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1 did not infringe Apple’s registered Community design. Among other things, the court held that it had to follow the decision of the UK Court of Appeal in a case involving the same subject-matter.

15 February 2013

Russia regains rights to STOLICHNAYA and MOSKOVSKAYA vodka marks

The Hague Court of Appeal has ruled that trademark rights in the popular vodka brands Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya belonged to the Russian Federation, and not to Dutch-based Spirits International, which is part of the SPI Group, owned by Russian tycoon Yuri Scheffler. The Russian state argued that Scheffler had illegally purchased the rights to 43 Soviet vodka brands and had granted licences to various vodka manufacturers worldwide.

12 September 2012

Well-known marks may be used in domain names provided that use is not abusive

In <i>LEGO Juris A/S v Stichting RIBW ZWWF</i>, a WIPO panel has ruled that a non-profit organisation that sells models made from second-hand Lego products had a right or legitimate interest in the domain name '' ('used Lego' in English). The complaint was brought under the '.nl' domain name dispute resolution policy, which is equivalent to the UDRP, except that it does not have a conjunctive requirement in its third element.

01 December 2011

Multinational corporation ordered to stop using champagne PDO

In <i>Unilever v Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne</i>, the Court of ‘s-Gravenhage has ordered that Unilever cease any infringement of the PDO champagne and, more specifically, cease marketing and promoting its Champagne Shampoo product. The decision is significant in that it is the first time that a national court has granted injunctive relief based on recent EU regulations on wines and spirits.

12 November 2010

Questions referred to ECJ on trademark use by can filler

In a dispute between Red Bull and Frisdranken Industrie Winters, the <i>Hoge Raad</i> has referred questions to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. Among other things, the Dutch court seeks to know whether the mere filling of a can that bears a trademark should be considered as use of that mark in the course of trade, even where such act is carried out on behalf of a third party.

10 March 2010

3D mark cancellation clarifies scope of protection

In the dispute between Kraft and Mars over the latter's use of a triangular shape for its Wave product, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands has upheld a decision of the Court of Appeal in which the latter had ordered the cancellation of Kraft's 3D triangle mark. Among other things, the Court of Appeal had rejected the proposition that a part of the Toblerone sleeve could have acquired secondary meaning.

17 February 2010

Mega Brands may sell imitations of Lego bricks, says Supreme Court

In <i>Lego Nederland BV v Mega Brands Inc</i>, the Dutch Supreme Court has confirmed that Mega Brands Inc may sell its Micro and Mini toy building bricks in the Netherlands. The Supreme Court upheld a decision of the Court of Appeal of Den Bosch in which the latter had found that there was a need among the relevant public for a system that is compatible and exchangeable with that of Lego Nederland BV.

20 January 2010

No likelihood of confusion between RIO FANTASTIC BLUE and BLUE WONDER

The Court of First Instance of The Hague has held that use of the trademark RIO FANTASTIC BLUE for cleaning products did not infringe the mark BLUE WONDER for identical goods. Among other things, the court found that the only common element between the marks, the word 'blue', was descriptive of the goods and had little distinctive character.

10 June 2009

Supreme Court refers questions to ECJ in keying case

In <i>Portakabin Ltd v Primakabin</i>, the Dutch Supreme Court has referred questions to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling in a case involving the use of the registered trademark PORTAKABIN as a keyword in Google's Adwords system. Among other things, the court sought to know whether use of a trademark as a keyword qualifies as use as a trademark for products and/or services under the First Trademarks Directive.

16 March 2009

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content