Abcor team in World Trademark Review 1000

The start of a new year often marks the beginning of new rankings of trademark agencies worldwide. Some of these rankings are particularly important to us because they are conducted by objective agencies and cannot be bought. The ranking is based on interviews with clients and companies we work with. One of the most important rankings is the WTR1000, an annual global ranking based on independent research by an objective team with feedback from our clients.


We are therefore particularly pleased that Abcor is once again mentioned this year as one of the top trademark agencies in the Benelux, with individual recommendations for Mirjam de Werd, Monique Granneman, and myself. We would like to extend our thanks to all our clients for that. The WTR1000 jury report is so special this year that we would like to share it with our clients:


“ABCOR is the definition of innovation. The team is client focused, pragmatic and up to date on all relevant market trends.” The group provides a wonderfully flexible service to a diverse clientele and has all aspects of protection on lock, navigating the trademark realm astutely. Theo-Willem van Leeuwen anchors the practice from the Netherlands. He gives peace of mind to patrons, thanks to his decades of experience and currently sits as [past] president of the Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law. Mirjam de Werd has in-house experience at a leading multinational company on her résumé and is completely in sync and finely attuned to the business goals of her following. Former Novagraaf attorney Monique Granneman joined the team in August 2023 and does a neat job of tailoring her communication style and advice to meet the needs of each client."


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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?