An unpleasant encounter - trademark infringement restaurant names De Ontmoeting

In the year 2001, tapas restaurant ‘the Encounter’ opens its doors in the city of Nijmegen. They register their logo for catering services, in order to protect the goodwill of the restaurant.In the year 2014, a restaurant named ‘the Encounter Zutphen’ is opened in the city of Zutphen (approximately 50 km from Nijmegen). The party from Nijmegen claims that this is infringement of their trademark rights.

The restaurant owner from Zutphen disagrees, claiming that over 800 companies are registered at the Chamber of Commerce using this name, so the name is free to be used by everybody. Furthermore, the logos are different, as are the cities where the parties are established and for these reasons, there is no risk of confusion.

The judge does not agree, stating that the dominant part of both logo’s is the word ‘encounter’ and that the offered services are identical. It does not matter that the restaurants are 50 kilometers apart. Both companies direct themselves to the same audience through internet. Therefore, the consumers might think that the restaurant in Zutphen is a new establishment of the same owner in another city. In the end, the party from Zutphen has to change their name and, as the losing party, pay for the legal expenses of the other.


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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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