Abcor is a full service design and trademark agency specialized in legal advice and protection of intellectual property rights.
Unlike all other trademark agencies. A strategic partner with short, clear and especially practical advice.
We not only look at the legal side of a case, but also take into account other aspects of the business such as marketing , the consequences of introductions and of course the costs.
Hence our solutions often come out of the box. Is this not unexpected, because the vast majority of our lawyers have been working in house for years in the business
(including in advertising, consumer fast moving products and pharmaceutical industry). Curious about a refreshing second opinion? Please contact one of our lawyers (email@example.com).
"Many entrepreneurs are unaware of the value of their IP assets"
Mr. Th W. van Leeuwen LL.M.
President, Trademark agency Abcor
There are strict rules regarding the use of the terms ‘Royal’ or ‘purveyor to the Royal household’. These are titles, granted by the King to companies with a prominent position in the Netherlands. Further conditions are that a company must be at least a hundred years old, have no less than a hundred employees and have a formidable reputation. The grant by the King is a favour, not an enforceable right. Companies that use these titles, without the King’s permission, give the impression that all conditions are successfully met. In order to prevent any abuse (and to protect the intellectual property rights of the Royal House), our former Queen Beatrix established a foundation.
Many believe that the registration of a logo provides limited protection, but current jurisprudence shows the opposite. The LOCK case and the recent decision concerning the logo of Nationale Nederlanden lead to the conclusion that the figurative element of a logo with words should be protected also. But how far reaches this protection of merely the figurative element?
In 1974 Erno Rubik develops a 3D puzzle, a cube with 6 coloured surfaces. The mechanism is protected by a Hungarian patent. Each infringement of the invention can be prevented in this way, regardless of the print on its surfaces. Only after some years the cube becomes a success. Soon all kinds of varieties appear on the market, like the Sudoku Cube and the Kamasutra Cube. Rubik wants to act against these free riders, but how? The patent is already expired.
Dutch radio-station “Radio 538” has a reputation for making controversial campaigns, resulting in many complaints before the RCC (The Dutch Advertising Code) after the launch of every summer campaign. It is remarkable that the Netherlands seem to have become more prudish lately. See, for example, the Shameless campaign of Suit supply, featuring a lady drinking coffee while being “taken” on the kitchen counter (this campaign was allowed after all). The new 538 commercial features a young woman, dressed only in a top, sitting in front of a blower-fan with her legs opened towards the viewer. A domestic cat is placed in front of her on the couch, blocking the view of the model’s genitals. According to the complaint, the image of the woman creates an association with pornography. The billboard is placed in plain sight at bus-stops. Therefore the campaign is allegedly immoral and lacking good taste.
Until a few years ago design law was of minor importance in the Benelux. Those days are over now. Over the last few years multiple decisions have been issued based on registered EU designs, like in this Honda case. Honda has protected the shape of its HONDA MSX125 as a registered EU-design. A Belgian distributor introduces a similar design on the market and the case is taken to court.
MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE.
Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark.
Infringement or not?