Trademark news

LOCK - why to register logo’s?

A word trademark registration covers the use of the word in every writing style. For that reason, companies prefer registering trademarks in standard characters. So if the logo chances, the word will still be protected via the wordmark registration. However, sometimes the design of the logo does not clearly reveal which word it contains. In these cases the logo should be protected as a trademark as well. The LOCK-case is a good example. The holder of the German word trademark LOCK files a cancellation action against the European trademark LOCKMASTER. Both trademarks distinguish electric motors. The wordmark LOCK is older than 5 years, so the use of the trademark must be proven. » trademark-registration

Royal Dutch and the Royal predicate

There are strict rules regarding the use of the terms ‘Royal’ or ‘purveyor to the Royal household’. These are titles, granted by the King to companies with a prominent position in the Netherlands. Further conditions are that a company must be at least a hundred years old, have no less than a hundred employees and have a formidable reputation. The grant by the King is a favour, not an enforceable right. Companies that use these titles, without the King’s permission, give the impression that all conditions are successfully met. In order to prevent any abuse (and to protect the intellectual property rights of the Royal House), our former Queen Beatrix established a foundation. » tradenames

Arctic Cat infringes Black Panther

Many believe that the registration of a logo provides limited protection, but current jurisprudence shows the opposite. The LOCK case and the recent decision concerning the logo of Nationale Nederlanden lead to the conclusion that the figurative element of a logo with words should be protected also. But how far reaches this protection of merely the figurative element? » trademarks

The Rubik Cube and freeriding

In 1974 Erno Rubik develops a 3D puzzle, a cube with 6 coloured surfaces. The mechanism is protected by a Hungarian patent. Each infringement of the invention can be prevented in this way, regardless of the print on its surfaces. Only after some years the cube becomes a success. Soon all kinds of varieties appear on the market, like the Sudoku Cube and the Kamasutra Cube. Rubik wants to act against these free riders, but how? The patent is already expired. » copyright

Obscene trademarks – law and advertising

Everybody knows that the Benelux trademark authorities are very liberal as it comes to accepting trademarks. By law, they can refuse trademarks that are contrary to the public order or immoral, but this almost never happens. This seems convenient, but remember that these trademarks may be refused abroad. In Switzerland trademarks are easily refused on religious grounds and the EUIPO refuses trademarks containing the word F*CK. However problems can arise in the Netherlands as well, due to stricter rules regarding advertising. » trademark-registration


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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