Victory comes from Alkmaar

Many companies register their trading name as a trademark. Reason: a trademark provides much broader protection than trading name law. Especially if services are offered locally, the scope of protection is too limited to inhibit fellow companies in other regions.

 

Victoria Taxi from Avenhorn finds this out the hard way when the company makes objections to the use of Taxi Alkmaar Victoria. Court rules that, despite the two companies being only 20 km apart, there can be no risk of confusion as customers will take the local taxi service. Due to the different area code, therefore, no confusion is to be expected. Would the plaintiff have had a trademark, the case would probably have ended completely different.

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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?