Many companies assume that the use of a trading name or a domain name is sufficient to make a broad claim on the exclusive right to that name. These assumptions can prove painfully wrong. Since 2016, a company named Funding Innovation (later “Funder Inc.”) has been using the name FUNDR as a trade name and domain name. The company provides consulting services in the field of corporate funding and government grants. »tradenames
BMW has been around for almost 100 years, making motorcycles (since 1923) and cars (since 1928). The company has registered its trademark rights worldwide. In India, these rights go back to 1956. When Balajee Automobile offers electrically powered rickshaws under the DMW brand in 2013, BMW objects to this. »trademarks
In the Benelux we do not know an exclusive right to our own name. If a company wants to claim a family name as its exclusive name, it will have to file a trademark registration. In the EU, it is sometimes possible to tackle name-hijacking, if it is clear that this name was registered as a trademark in bad faith. In some countries, like China, that protection goes a bit further and there is such a thing as a right to a "personal name". »trademarks
Adidas uses three parallel stripes as the distinguishing sign of its products. Characteristic is the number and the fact that the stripes are just as wide as the space between them. The design dates from 1949. To protect the goodwill of this brand, the company acts consistently against other sports brands that use stripes. The best known conflict is, we suspect, the series of lawsuits against Hennes and Mauritz that has been ongoing since 1997, over the use of the two stripes on fitness clothing. »trademarks
Last year, the EU Court passed an important ruling on the relationship between design law and copyright. It was indicated that copyright does not always provide the same protection as a design right. Copyright can only be invoked if an intellectual creation is concerned. This seems to put an end to the ultra-low threshold that was applicable in the Netherlands and with this ruling the importance of claiming design through a design registration has increased considerably. »design-law
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?