Goodwill business / IP check

Intellectual property rights can come to existence in various ways within companies. It may occur in the context of creating a name (for companies and brands), product development (trademarks / designs), technical inventions (patents), design (copyright and designs) but also in online activities (domain names and social media). A claim to these rights often occurs only after protection for these specific rights is sought. Because product development, marketing and the legal department are often not integrated, the risk that certain rights are not claimed is always present.

In addition, companies may decide to license a trademark or product. But apart from trademarks licenses are also used for the operation of other IP rights such as designs and copyrights. A license gives a company permission to use a product / trademark / patent or other rights elsewhere. Licenses are basically free in form, but it is wise to put the agreements clearly on paper. As with distribution agreements it must be clear what another can or cannot do, under what conditions and how the partnership may be terminated. We also see more and more mergers between companies (or divisions of companies) which forget to transfer the IP rights to the new entity in time.

Because of this a good overview of what exactly is protected and how this is done is often lacking. In the context of possible conflicts, and because intellectual property rights are an important part of the goodwill, it is wise to gain an insight. What rights are registered and which are not registered and what we can do to claim a timely protection.
The Abcor Goodwill check shows which rights are claimed and which are not. Also our lawyers will issue an advice to ensure certain rights are claimed in time.

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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?