Trademark news

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. » other-general

Louis Keijzer passes BBMM exam with flying colours

In January, the final oral exams were held as part of the Professional Training of Benelux Trademark and Design Attorneys. This exam marks the culmination of the two-year course. This year, 15 candidates from Belgium and the Netherlands were examined. Our colleague Louis Keijzer did particularly well. Both Louis and Abcor are extremely proud that he passed this practical exam as the best Dutchman. » other-general

Competitor registers domain name

The one who first applies for a domain name, gets that domain name. Even if it contains a trademark of another company. Through a UDRP procedure, a trademark holder can fairly easily try to repossess such a domain. With Dutch domain names, you have to prove that the domain name is (virtually) identical, that the defendant has no right of its own pertaining to that name and that the domain name was registered or used in bad faith. » internet-online-branding

Electrode product or part?

The design of a product can be protected as a design if it is novel and has individual character. Some products are composed of many different parts. This is known as a composite. With composites there is an additional rule, namely that this part must be visible in normal use. But what exactly is a component part of a complex product? » design-law

TOP 40 for Dutch Expats

Trademark rights are territorial. If another party uses a similar sign in another territory, is it possible to take action against it? » trademarks
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IP Knowledge Quiz Designs

The plaintiff specializes in online sales of children's bicycles. In safeguarding its rights, the company has registered the design of these bicycles under Community Design. Through a multiple design registration, the company secures the rights for 10 new versions of its children's bicycles simultaneously under Community Design. Subsequently, when the defendant introduces a similar bicycle, legal proceedings ensue. Among the various claims, the plaintiff alleges infringement of its design rights, which in turn is contested by the defendant. A design must possess novelty and individual character. The defendant states that the design lacks novelty, as elements of this design are already present in various existing bicycles. Essentially, the defendant's bicycles reproduce these elements, resulting in a lack of individual character. According to the defendant, the community designs are thus invalid. Even If the plaintiff's designs should be valid, the defendant argues that its bicycle deviates sufficiently. The defendant argues that the plaintiff has sought protection for more or less similar designs in the multiple design registration. Apparently, the plaintiff believes that these designs differ enough to create a different overall impression. The defendant's bicycles deviate just as much, thus creating a different overall impression (the so-called doctrine of equivalents argument). The question arises: are the plaintiff's bicycles valid designs despite comprising known aspects from various bicycles, or does the defendant's design exhibit sufficient deviation, thereby enabling the invocation of the doctrine of equivalents concerning the multiple design registration? The court determines that designers of children's bicycles enjoy considerable freedom in their designs. Consequently, if another bicycle lacks significant distinctions, it will quickly evoke a similar overall impression for the informed user, thereby lacking individual character. The comparison is drawn between the new design (the AMIGO bicycles from T.O.M.) and an older existing design (bicycle). To prove that a design is not new, you cannot, as Prijskiller (the defendant) asserts, mosaic together various elements. Therefore, as a defendant, you cannot argue that a design is not new because its characteristics are present in various different products (see also the judgment Karen Millen). If, as a designer, you combine different aspects from multiple designs for the first time into a new product, then this is simply a new and valid design. This is the case with the AMIGO bicycle. The design is upheld as valid. The AMIGO Magic bicycle features a unique tubular frame, rendering it novel. The bicycle is further distinguished by the name MAGIC, the chain guard design, and accessories such as a basket, handlebar streamers, and doll seat. Prijskiller contends that its frame shape differs (being thicker) and that the drawings are positioned differently. Additionally, Prijskiller highlights the distinct color scheme; however, TOM has registered the designs in line drawings, thus disregarding this element in the evaluation. Nevertheless, several similarities are apparent. Both bicycles exhibit an almost identical pattern of butterflies and flowers, positioned nearly identically on the frame. Furthermore, the name MAGIC is depicted in the same font and placement on the chain guard. Consequently, this bicycle fails to evoke a different overall impression for the informed user. The designer's extensive creative freedom in designing children's bicycles means that the differences highlighted by Prijskiller are minor and inconspicuous. Prijskiller's invocation of the doctrine of equivalents is likewise dismissed. The court opines that this case pertains to models concurrently deposited by T.O.M. This circumstance precludes the invocation of the "doctrine of equivalents" because, in compliance with the regulations regarding novelty, individual character, and the grace period, the various models cannot diminish each other's novelty or individual character, nor their scope of protection. In essence, in simultaneous (multiple) deposits, the "doctrine of equivalents" holds little significance. Consequently, these 2Cycle Magic bicycles fail to impart a different overall impression for the informed user. The designer's extensive freedom in designing children's bicycles and the minor differences highlighted by Prijskiller render the infringement claim upheld.