Trademark news

Product photography on the house

Last year, an interesting ruling was passed by the judge regarding the use of stock photos. Normally, stock photos are protected by copyright law. The main rule is, that an intellectual creation has to be made independently. In short, creative choices have to be made. In case of pictures, these conditions are normally met given the composition, the angle, the use of light etc., but is this also the case with stock photos? Clearly not, according to a car company that used a close-up picture of a temperature gauge in a car. » copyright

Ikea lamp not derived from Proplamp - knowledge and unfair competition

An idea itself cannot be protected, only its implementation can. The shape of a product can be protected by copyrights or design rights. If these rights are not available, in the Netherlands one can rely on the regime of unfair competition to protect the shapes of its products. Especially in the case of counterfeiting this ground has been invoked on a regular base. However, what if a third party, by coincidence, develops the same idea independently? » copyright

Copyright claim on metal basket - wire basket versus Burly basket Round

In 2012, Trine Anderson designs the Wire Basket. She created this design as an employee of the firm Ferm Living. In the Netherlands the copyrights belong to the company if the products have been made by employees (as part of their job). Many (daily used) products can be protected by copyrights. However, if no possible creative choices have been made (as the shape is too basic), the design cannot be protected. The Burly Basket Round, introduced by the company Lifestyle, has a great resemblance to the Wire Basket. This raises the question if the Burly Basket Round is an infringement of the copyrights of Ferm Living. Lifestyle states that, due to the trivial and functional shape of the Wire Basket Round, no Intellectual property claims can be made. » copyright

Humour or cease and desist letter? Briliant Ikea campaign to act against infringement Balenciaga bag

During Balenciaga’s spring show, all of a sudden an oversized bag is shown on the catwalk which very much resembles the famous cobalt blue Ikea bag, designed by Marianne and Knut Hagberg. However, the shown bag is made of leather and has a zipper. Apart from that, the bag only costs 2.145 dollars. Ikea could invoke its copyrights on the design (which apparently has not been registered as a design right). The shape of common day to day products are protected by copyright, if they can be considered as intellectual creations, where the designer made personal choices. So legal action is possible in this case, but is it the smart thing to do? » copyright

How much is Van Gaal worth? Portrait rights

Louis van Gaal, a Dutch soccer coach, always knows how to get and keep the media’s attention. An advertising agency bought a picture at Getty Images concerning the Dutch soccer team of 2014. The image was a perfect fit for a writing competition. By buying the license the advertising agency took care of the rights of the photographer, but it did not change the rights of the people in the picture, including Van Gaal. Because Van Gaal is famous in the Netherlands, his image has a financial value. Since no fee was paid, Van Gaal demanded € 100,000.- in damages. » copyright


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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