Region: Netherlands

Class International fears appear well-founded

The Hague Court of Appeal has applied the ECJ's reasoning in the <i>Class International Case</i> to dismiss Nike's claim against a parallel importer of Nike footwear. The decision shows that <i>Class International</i> has made it considerably more difficult for mark owners to fight unauthorized parallel imports. Instead of seizing products as they are imported into the European Union, mark owners may need to wait until the products are sold to EU consumers before they can act.

23 May 2006

Keying and metatag use of DOUWE EGBERTS mark allowed

A district court has ruled that a distributor of Douwe Egberts branded coffee products was not infringing Douwe Egberts's rights by using the DOUWE EGBERTS mark (i) as a keyword to trigger advertisements for its products on search engine sites, and (ii) in the metatags of its website. The court noted that as Douwe Egberts had not objected to the distributor using the mark in other advertising and on its sites, it could not object to use of the mark in sponsored links and metatags.

03 March 2006

Penthouse brothel name does not infringe PENTHOUSE magazine mark

The Haarlem District Court has ruled that the use of the trade name Penthouse for services rendered in brothels does not infringe the trademark PENTHOUSE for adult entertainment. The court found that even though the PENTHOUSE mark enjoys a wide scope of protection because it is well known, the fact that it took its owner 29 years to notice the allegedly infringing use diffused the claim that the repute or distinctiveness of the mark was damaged.

06 December 2005

Bat Beverage may use bat sign despite Bacardi's earlier bat logo

In <i>Bacardi & Company Ltd v Bat Beverage GmbH</i>, the District Court of The Hague has dismissed Bacardi's application for a summary injunction enjoining Bat Beverage from using a logo featuring a bat. The court found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the Bat Beverage sign and the Bacardi bat logo as Bacardi's logo had limited distinctive character, the signs bore visual differences and Bat Beverage used its sign only in combination with its word mark.

05 October 2005

Mega Bloks' toy brick claim knocked down by Lego

The Breda Court of First Instance has dismissed Mega Bloks Inc's application for a declaration that its toy building bricks do not infringe the famous toy bricks manufactured by Lego System A/S. Despite the fact that Lego cannot rely on any IP rights in the shape of its bricks, the court upheld its claim for an injunction under common law. It agreed that the similarities between the bricks would lead to consumer confusion.

07 September 2005

Two-stripe design does not infringe adidas's three-stripe mark

The 's-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal, in summary proceedings, has ruled that clothing chain H&M Hennes & Mauritz Netherlands BV and a number of other clothes manufacturers were not infringing adidas AG's three-stripe trademark by using two-stripe motifs on sports and casual wear. The court refused to rely on an earlier German case in which adidas successfully claimed trademark infringement against one of the parties in the Dutch proceedings.

26 April 2005

Court declines jurisdiction over websites selling look-alike chairs

A district court has ruled that it has no jurisdiction to hear a casebrought by Vitra against 16 defendants located outside the Netherlands, who allegedlysold copies of a chair in which Vitra has rights through their websites. The courtfound no evidence that the websites were specifically directed at users in theNetherlands.

18 April 2005

Resellers can use device marks in advertising, rules court

In <i>G-Star BV v Makro Cash and Carry Netherlands BV</i>, the District Court of The Hague has applied case law from the European Court of Justice, which referred solely to word marks, and has determined that a reseller has the right to use device marks in addition to word marks when reselling goods that are put on the EU market with the trademark owner's consent.

08 March 2005

Ad tied to search results is infringing, rules Dutch court

In <i>Pretium Telecom v Yiggers Nederland</i>, a court in The Hague has ruled that the defendant's use of the plaintiff's PRETIUM mark as a keyword triggering an advertisement for the defendant on the Google search engine site was infringing. The court noted that use of a mark as a keyword in itself is not infringing, it is only where an advertisement is linked to the keyword search that a violation occurs.

03 February 2005

VELLUM infringed despite distribution agreement

The Arnhem District Court has ordered the former distributor of Ashlar Inc's VELLUM trademarked software in Benelux to cease all use of the mark in Benelux. The court held that as the distributor had been set up for the exclusive purpose of distributing VELLUM-marked products, it could not claim prior rights in the mark, even though it registered it in Benelux before Ashlar did.

03 November 2004

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