Buro Blanchard to partner with Abcor trademark agency

In order to secure continued support of its customers IP assets, Buro Blanchard decided to formalize the collaboration with Abcor trademark agency of Leiden, the Netherlands. Buro Blanchard and Abcor had been informally working together for several years. Not to anyone’s surprise because Frans Blanchard and Theo-Willem van Leeuwen (founder and CEO of Abcor) had known each other since the 1990’s from the advertising business.

 

Frans Blanchard started Buro Blanchard in 2011. With his 30+ years’ worth of experience in media and advertising, Buro Blanchard focuses on legal support for the creative industry. In addition to contracting, advertising and copyright law, trademark- and design law play a major role in this. In view of the In depth specialization in particular in the field of trademark and design law, a close collaboration with Abcor has developed over the years.

Abcor, founded in 2007, has since grown into one of the leading trademark representatives in the Benelux. Abcor has the ambition to unburden its customers and works for clients ranging from local SME to international customers. Abcor is a full service trademark agency, that not only specializes in portfolio management, but also provides additional advice in the field of brand management (which rights to claim and how to claim them), advice in the context of trademark infringements (on- or offline) and advisory in bordering areas such as misleading/comparative advertising, design protection, et cetera. The Abcor team consists of 10 in total, of which 4 are certified Benelux/European trademark attorneys.

Abcor registers and enforces IP rights (including trademarks and designs) for its worldwide customer base. In recent years, the office has been included in various worldwide rankings as one of the leading trademark offices in the Benelux (by WTR1000 and IP Stars, among others). From 1 July 2022, Abcor will be recorded as representative of Buro Blanchard's customers in all relevant registers.

 

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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?