Trademark registration

Companies invest much to position themselves in the market. The company's name, the logo, the trademarks of products, all are important identifiers for consumers. Signs that separate one company from another. But a trademark is more than just a distinguishing mark. It symbolizes the goodwill built up by the company and thus represents a large financial value for the company. Protect your goodwill therefore.

Trademark rights in most countries are not acquired by use of a sign but only by registration. The registration of a domain name or a trade mark gives no rights! Only registration of a sign as a trade mark shall confer these rights.

For successful expansion of activities, it is therefore wise (actually necessary) to request protection for the most important signs. Think not only of names, but also of: logos, slogans, special packaging, shapes of products, colors, smells, videos and all other identifiers that a company could use to position itself in the market. Only if these characters are registered as a trademark, can one invoke any rights in case of, for example, trademark infringement or to claim priority of new domain names.

More information about Trademark registration?
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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?