Secondment - temporary support

Many lawyers in Abcor have first worked, for years, in commercial companies in different functions. In our current method we do not operate from an ivory tower, but we prefer to stand in the middle of the working floor with our customers. By sharing knowledge with our customers in the production process more clearly where and when IP rights should be claimed. With that in mind in house courses are given and trademark attorneys and support staff are seconded.

These days seconding trademark attorneys and employees has become common practice. Our people are specialized to quickly (and temporarily) fill a position and take care of an IP portfolio, to bring order and restructuring of departments or supporting ongoing procedures. Our clients consists mainly of SMEs and large international customers. Seconding is done on an hourly or half-day (depending on the workload). Companies pay a standard fee based on an interim agreement (i.e. remittance social insurance is the responsibility of Abcor).

Especially for larger companies with their own trademark division it may be interesting to hire a temporary worker. Think of procedures in the context of the introduction of new brands, centralization of portfolios due to reorganizations, mergers or as temporary fill in for maternity leave. In this way, the trademark portfolio is in-house up-to-date, all knowledge is internal and deadlines are guarded. The cost depends on the size of the project and the required professional skills.

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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?