Advertising regulation in the Netherlands - Parody and tobacco

The Tobacco Act prohibits advertising and sponsorship of tobacco. The secretary of public regularly has to file procedures against covert advertisement of tobacco. Even the parody poster of cinema 'The Ketelhuis' could not be approved. The playful poster, based on the Lucky Strike logo with a warning: “Dutch films are close to your heart" was seen as a form of circumvention of the Tobacco Act.  

The bill makes clear use of a symbol (part of the logo), which has been used for tobacco.
The court did not agree and joined the parody defence. Although the poster is a clear resemblance to the circle used in the logo of Lucky Strike, this poster is not regarded as an expression or a form of commercial sponsorship. It is clear that the movies were promoted using a parody of the cigarette package. No infringement, but a lot of publicity was received.



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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?