Prohibition of fake online reviews

Since May 28, it has been prohibited to post false consumer reviews on online stores, marketplaces or social media. The law is based on a EU directive to better protect consumers online. Reason: many consumers place great value on reviews of products and services on the Internet.

 

If consumers can post reviews, administrators must from now on assess them for authenticity. Writing positive reviews by the sellers themselves is out of the question.

Negative reviews cannot be removed just like that anymore, unless they are false.

There is also a prohibition to post a false consumer review against payment (unless this is expressly stated). One is not allowed to place likes on social media to promote one’s own site anymore. On the website it must be clearly indicated what the reviews policy is and what is being done to prevent fake reviews. The ACM and AFM will enforce this and fines can amount to 4% of annual turnover.

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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?