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22 November 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”.

29 July 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.

01 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.

28 March 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.

29 January 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.

12 September 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.

30 January 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.

11 December 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.

27 November 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.

17 January 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.

14 April 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.

11 December 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.

04 March 2014

Court of Appeal considers concepts of 'use' and 'bad faith'

The Court of Appeal of The Hague has dismissed the claims of Chinese cigarette trader Zhu against Dutch company Promodyne and its Chinese business partner Great Blue Sky. At the centre of the dispute was Zhu’s claim that Great Blue Sky had registered a CTM in bad faith. In reaching its conclusion, the court referred to the decision of the ECJ in Lindt and to the opinion of Advocate General Kokott in Winters v Red Bull.

24 January 2014

Supreme Court: famous vodka trademarks belong to Russia

Dutch company Spirits International has been defeated in the Supreme Court in its longstanding legal battle with Russian federal company FKP over the ownership of two Benelux trademark registrations for the Vodka marks STOLICHNAYA and MOSKOVSKAYA. The Supreme Court referred to the decisions of the ECJ in Malaysia Dairy and Lindt regarding the concept of bad faith.

18 November 2013

POPSTARS marks held to be invalid

In the dispute over the name of the television programme The Next Popstar, the District Court of The Hague has cancelled the registrations for the POPSTARS marks on the ground that they were descriptive, and held that POPSTARS was not a generally well-known mark within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention. The decision is interesting in that the court held that only very well-known trademarks can obtain protection under Article 6bis.