Active role required from Facebook with regards to fake advertisements

The number of Facebook users was estimated at 2.3 billion early 2019. This makes the medium an ideal platform for advertisers. Facebook therefore makes high turnover, last year the advertising revenues alone were estimated at around 45 billiondollars. It is no surprise that Facebook is also used by individuals with less honorable intentions.Since 2018, advertisements to invest in Bitcoins are very commonly seen on Facebook. In addition, Dutch media tycoon John de Mol is depicted as a successful Bitcoin investor, however these adds are a scam and lead to fraudulent websites.

John de Mol demands a ban on the use of his name or face, for which he has not given permission. He claims that Facebook should act actively to prevent this.

Many victims of this scam have reported to the online Fraud authorities, who estimated the damage caused by these fake advertisements at 1.7 million euros. Facebook's argues that it is not responsible for this. They claim that they’re just a neutral online channel and therefore not liable for fraudulent ads on the platform (the so called safe harbor defense).

Court does not agree with this especially taking into consideration the active role of Facebook in selling sell ads on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook appealed the decision. Wondering who will support John de Mol, because now fraudulent Bitcoin ads are appearing on Facebook portraying other celebrities. (Source image: fake ad on Facebook)

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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?