Domain Names

Online presence on the Internet and through social media is crucial for companies to position themselves or a new product / trademark. A good domain name not only ensures you will be found, more sales will be made, but also contributes to the value of trademarks and the entire IP portfolio. Hence, it is essential to not only obtain domain names that are identical to the mark, but also the most logical variations thereof.

In addition to domain name registration, it is also important to monitor the domain names portfolio. Which corresponding domain names are seceretly registered by third parties to obtain your goodwill. Domain name watch quickly and easily finds them.

Since 2014, many new extensions were launched weekly. Think of new geographical extensions such .FRL and .amsterdam but also new generic extensions such as .ONLINE and .SHOP. We advise to not only register relevant .GB and .COM extensions, but to also check for possible specific extensions that may be of interest.

Because domain names are an integral part of the intellectual property rights of a company, it is advisable to have a good strategic policy here. What is and is not registered in a country, which generic extensions are of interest, and what is monitored and when to take action against online trademark infringement.

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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?