Beer drinking toddlers

Misleading advertising is found all over the world. It often concerns use of words, but the deception can also involve matching packaging. Sometimes unexpected parties com to the rescue. Choc Milk Stout (from Howler’s brewery) mimics the packaging of Milo chocolate powder from Nestlé. A nice touch, unless something goes wrong. A toddler accidentally mistakes the can of beer in the family fridge for chocolate milk, after which its parents file a complaint with the advertising authorities. This design is irresponsible. The brewery reacts indignantly: “We do not target children with our beer and the use of this label does not lure children into consuming beer.”


The local advertising code for alcoholic beverages states that signs that appeal to minors should not be used. The beer packaging has the same label layout, brown type-font as well as the same green color as is used on the Milo packaging. The way the beer is promoted is against guidelines for the promotion of alcoholic beverages and can lead to irresponsible alcohol consumption. The manufacturer is requested to adapt the packaging.


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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?