Farmer searches better wife not allowed

On February 7th the new theatre comedy of Toupe of Joep premiered. A week before opening night Blue Circle, the producer of Farmer searches Wife, clearly voiced its unhappiness. In order to prevent coat tail riding the company has registered the name of the program as a trademark.

A parody exception is available in copyright law, but unknown in trademark law. The question is whether a producer should act this strict with use of the trademark and parody. The public opinion could turn against you if there really is a parody and no commercial coat tail riding.
In order to not have the matter escalate the decision is made to change the name into Farmer searches better Wife. Quite expensive by itself since all promotional material, the website and Facebook needed to be changed. The theatre group of Joep Onderdelinden does not hold any grudges. All 68 farmers of the reality show attended the opening.


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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?