Queengarden motorbike infringement of European design Honda

Until a few years ago design law was of minor importance in the Benelux. Those days are over now. Over the last few years multiple decisions have been issued based on registered EU designs, like in this Honda case. Honda has protected the shape of its HONDA MSX125 as a registered EU-design. A Belgian distributor introduces a similar design on the market and the case is taken to court.

The judge defines the relevant audience does not merely consist of professional traders, but of motorcycle affectionates as well. In addition, there is a lot of room for creative freedom. The Honda motorcycle has numerous characteristic features like its stretched saddle, the exhaust pipe just below the saddle, the angular shape of the headlight and its side pieces. All these specific features have been copied, resulting in the same overall impression. So further sales are prohibited by court-order and the decision is accompanied by a penalty payment to the sum of one million Euros. (Image EUIPO database)


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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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