HANSGROHE showerhead - design registrations become increasingly more important

Protection of a product through design registration has been an all but forgotten option in the Benelux for a long time. However, in the past few years it has become increasingly more evident just how important this method of protection may be.  

Hansgrohe claimed that her competitor Tiger infringed her design rights. Hansgrohe claimed that Tiger’s Niagra showerhead was essentially the same as her own showerhead. The court, however, did not agree with this and stated that the Niagra showerhead gave a different general impression than the Hansgrohe showerhead.

The Court of Appeal, however, disagreed completely and gave a much broader scope of protection to Hansgrohe’s design rights. Tiger claimed that Hansgrohe’s design owed its shape to technical specifications. The Court of Appeal, however, judged that although the shape of the showerhead is largely determined by technical characteristics, it is not the only technologically possible shape for a showerhead and can therefore be protected as a design. The fact that certain elements of the design were inspired by a certain fashion trend or style also does not affect the validity of the design, according to the Court of Appeal. The Court judged that Tiger’s product infringes Hansgrohe’s design rights. An injunction followed and Tiger was ordered to pay Hansgrohe’s legal expenses, which were over € 93,000.-.




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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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