Region: Netherlands

THE BODY SHOP held to have acquired distinctiveness though use

The District Court of The Hague has held that although the trademark THE BODY SHOP might initially have been a descriptive sign without any distinctive character, it had gained secondary meaning due to its longstanding use within and outside the Netherlands. Therefore, use of the mark MEN'S BODY SHOP by the defendant was detrimental to the distinctiveness of THE BODY SHOP.

30 January 2009

‘’ extension launched

EuroDNS, the Luxembourg-based registrar responsible for the Dutch ‘’ domain name space, has announced the launch of ‘’ through a sunrise period divided into two phases. During the first phase, which starts today, owners of a ‘.nl’ domain name have the right to register the equivalent of that domain name under ‘’ with priority.

18 November 2008

Supreme Court advised to refer questions to ECJ in keying case

In <i>Portakabin Ltd v Primakabin</i>, DWF Verkade, the advocate general to the Dutch Supreme Court, has issued a lengthy opinion advising the court to refer several questions to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The case concerned the use of the trademark PORTAKABIN as a keyword in Google's Adwords system.

16 October 2008

Rights owners may prohibit transit of goods under EU Customs Regulation

In <i>Sisvel SpA v Sosecal</i>, the District Court of The Hague has held that a patentee may oppose the transit of infringing goods which have been detained by the customs authorities under the EU Customs Regulation. Although this is a patent case, it is highly significant for trademark owners in their fight against counterfeiting.

11 September 2008

New domain name dispute resolution procedure launched

SIDN, the registry responsible for the organization of the Dutch country-code top-level domain, '.nl', has announced the launch of a new alternative dispute resolution procedure for '.nl' domain names. The new procedure is a variation of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and will replace the arbitration mechanism put in place in 2003.

15 April 2008

Mega Bloks wins latest battle against Lego

In the latest instalment of the long-running battle between Mega Bloks Inc and Lego System A/S over Mega Bloks' rights in the shape of its toy bricks, the Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of Mega Bloks. The court found that Mega Bloks had established that there is a need among the relevant public for a system that is compatible and exchangeable with that of Lego.

24 October 2007

Dutch Supreme Court seeks clarification of Chiemsee

In a case involving the famous adidas three-stripe trademark, the Dutch Supreme Court has referred questions to the European Court of Justice seeking to clarify the meaning of the <i>Chiemsee</i> decision. The Dutch court asked what role, if any, the need to keep a sign free plays in assessing the scope of protection granted to a sign that has acquired distinctiveness through use.

10 April 2007

'Bust booster' descriptive of breast enlarging products, court finds

The District Court of The Hague has held that the phrase 'bust booster' is descriptive of products purporting to enlarge women's breasts and thus should remain free for all to use. Accordingly, the court dismissed the trademark infringement claim that the owner of the Community trademark INSTANT BUST BOOSTER had filed against two Dutch companies that used the phrase 'bust booster' to advertise their products.

26 February 2007

Court refuses to order website to screen ads for infringement

A district court has denied a request to order Marktplaats BV to screenall offers for items that infringe Stokke's rights. The court refused to assumea general duty of care for internet service providers that would require themto pre-screen or monitor website content, implying that the burden of enforcingrights falls on the rights holder.

30 June 2006

Pepsi fails to stop Coca-Cola's use of ÍPSEI

Despite two separate summary proceedings, Pepsico Inc has been unsuccessful (so far) in preventing the use of the mark ÍPSEI by its arch-rival Coca-Cola Company. In the first case, the District Court of The Hague refused to accept that the mark was confusingly similar to the famous PEPSI mark, while in the second, the District Court of Utrecht stated that Pepsico was abusing its right to file suit by initiating two separate court proceedings on essentially the same subject matter.

13 June 2006

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content