Website names acquire distinctiveness faster - court case Benelux trademark registrations

Within a few years time VAKANTIEVEILINGEN.NL  (vacation became a leader in online auctions of vacations. In 2010 the site was named the most popular website in the travel category. Success often leads to imitation, and sure enough a competitor launched VAKANTIEVEILING.NL. VAKANTIEVEILINGEN.NL  immediately sued their competitor for the use of this website.  

VAKANTIEVEILINGEN.NL invoked her word mark. The other party claimed that this mark was a purely descriptive name and therefore could not be invoked successfully. The court disagreed, however. Through intense use on the internet a name may acquire distinctiveness much faster than through traditional means. VAKANTIEVEILINGEN.NL had the required distinctiveness and won the lawsuit. The other party was prohibited to use her domain name any longer and was to pay damages (approx. € 13,000, -).


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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?
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