Trademark news

Bottom of bicycle saddle visible

To qualify for design protection, a product must meet two requirements: it must be novel and have individual character. If the design is part of a composite product, there is an additional requirement. The design must be visible during normal use. But what exactly is normal use? The Court answers this using a special pattern of the bottom of a bicycle saddle. » design-law

Sharing the Christmas spirit

Christmas is the time of the year when we celebrate appreciation and love we have for each other. It is the beautiful spirit of Christmas that makes the holidays so unique and therefore, this spirit should not be claimed by anyone. At the same time, Christmas is the time of year that companies monetize extensively. Associating themself with Christmas through marketing, launching new products in the holiday season, but also blocking and prohibiting each other from doing similar things. Legally this is not prohibited, but as a company you have to ask yourself, where do you draw the line? » design-law

Barbie tackles copycat

Mattel has been a producer of the Barbie fashion doll for over 60 years. When Jieyang Defa Industry applies for design protection in the European Union for a comparable doll's head, Mattel starts an invalidity proceeding against the application. » design-law

Ferrari bonnet unregistered design?

Mansory Design sells tuning kits with which the appearance of a 'normal' Ferrari 488 GTB can be transformed to look like a FXX-K, a rare race car of which only a few exist. Main characteristic of the latter is the V shape of the bonnet (hood). Ferrari has not protected the appearance of this car as a registered design however it opposes the sale of the tuning kits, relying on an unregistered design. This normally applies to the entire product. Can Ferrari rely on a part of such a design? » design-law

Cheaper Design Protection in China

Often companies claim trademark protection abroad through the International Registration (the so called Madrid Treaty & protocol). There is a similar route for design protection, through the International design registration (The Hague Convention). There is a big difference between designs and trademarks however, a claim for protection can only be successfully made if a model is new (ie not after a few years). Recently China acceded to this treaty. » design-law
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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?