Trademark news

Protection of an idea

Many people think that they obtain copyright protection for an idea by putting it in writing and submitting this to an online register like CCproof. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.An idea must have materialized for something to become 'a work'. If the work is also an intellectual creation, it may be copyrighted. An online “registration” of the idea can never be more than a piece of evidence. » copyright

Lego vs Lepin: Acting upon counterfeiting in China

Lepin has been selling imitations of Lego products under the LEPIN brand since 2015 (as well as having this trademark registered everywhere). Not only the products are exact imitations, the packaging as well. In two years approximately 4.25 million products were sold worldwide at a quarter of Lego’s price. Lego has been combatting counterfeit for years. When the LEPIN trademark got cancelled in England in 2019, a ban was issued in China on production of the counterfeit products. » copyright

Miffy with ducks beak, plagiarism or parody

An online row occurred in China about an exhibition of Feng Feng’s paintings. Stylized rabbits with a duck beak, strongly reminding of Dick Bruna's Miffy. The artist rejects accusations of plagiarism because commercial symbols are part of the public domain. How would we regard this in Europe? » copyright

Zigzagpatroon Nikkie Plessen

Copyright also applies to works of applied art. Because trends change rapidly in the garments-/fashion industry, manufacturers often rely on unregistered designs or on copyright to protect their designs. The disadvantage, of course, is that the burden of proof of the copyright lies with the manufacturer, whereas in the case of a registered design, the court assumes this. This plays an important role in, among others, the clothing of designer Nikkie Plessen. » copyright

Rumag and the gray space - copyright infringement?

Dutch TV host Arjan Lubach mercilessly exposed the practices of RUMAG last season. Rumag markets T-shirts with famous quotes translated literally, in ALLCAPS separated by dots instead of spaces. This firm’s owner is quoted claiming that there can be no copyright infringement when translating quotes from others, as this would be gray space. Is this correct or is this really a bullshit story? » copyright
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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?