Trademark news

Mattel squares off against lesbian Barbie

For years now Barbie has been a major success for Mattell. Barbie is placed at no. 97 of the top 100 most important trademark in the world. Naturally her good image must be protected at all times. Argentine art couple Breno Costa en Guilherme Souza however, decided to make a Barbie calendar in which she poses with her lesbian lover. Mattell, of course, strongly disproves of this calendar, but how successful would a lawsuit in the Netherlands be? » parody

Still no EGGception

In European trademark law there is very little, if any, room for parodies on trademarks. Very much to the dismay of many an artist. The German novelty houseware manufacturer Koziol had the ludicrous idea of making an egg holder that has the same basic shape as an iPod.   » parody


HARRY POTTER is one of the biggest brands today. Its estimated value is over 25 billion. Needless to say Warner Bros and creator J.K. Rowling will go to any length to protect the trademark. Sometimes this is a success (for example against Tanja Grotter). Sometimes, however, it is not (for example the case of Bollywood movie Hari Puttar; Comedy of Terrors).   » parody

Coke for Miffy

Because of its child friendly character Dick Bruna’s Miffy is often a humorous target. Bruna has more often than not successfully opposed unacceptable parodies on Miffy. For example in 2002 a campaign against rude behavior was revoked for using the same style as Miffy. Since that time, however, the so-called parody-exception has been added to the Copyright Act. » parody

Parody of police logo authorized

Joking about the police can cost you dearly. in January of this year, a 16-year-old girl was fined for wearing the image of a man urinating on the police logo on her coat. This constituted Infringement of trademark- and copyright law, after the police felt offended and confiscated the coat. » parody
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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?