IP & pharma

Our IP team specialises in all aspects of trademark and design law, copyright and trade name law. The parallel trade in products protected by trademark and patent law in the light of the free movement of goods under European law is a particular area of expertise. The lawyers of the IP department regularly litigate before the Dutch courts, the BOIP, the EUIPO and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Our lawyers also have extensive experience in (ex parte) seizures of evidence, summary proceedings and proceedings in the field of access to and obtaining of evidence (843a of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure). Pharmaceutical law (registration, IP aspects and cross-border distribution) is another specific area of our expertise.

Recent matters

Defending a UK based wholesale company of fast moving consumer goods in litigation proceedings (in appeal of the interim proceedings and in the main proceedings) concerning the seizure of Durex-products by the trademark proprietor in the ports of Spain and the Netherlands, while the goods are goods in transit and not put into circulation in the EU. The cases are still pending.

Representing our client in a principal trademark and unfair competition dispute against a telecommunication provider regarding the vital and material question whether a colour can be monopolized and successfully enforced based on trademark law. 

Acting as referring counsel in appeal proceedings in Germany for the Dutch manufacturer of innovative industrial machine parts in a dispute against its former distributor with regard to trademark infringement and slavish imitation by the former distributor. The case is still pending.

Acting as defense counsel of one of Europe’s largest forwarding and logistics companies in two ongoing trademark cases against two liquor brands (Hennessy and Bacardi). Which could have significant ramifications for the forwarding industry. Both cases involve highly complex questions of IP law regarding the liability of intermediaries with regard to possible trademark infringements by third party-traders. Both matters are pending before the Court of The Hague.

Negotiating and drafting a distribution agreement for a manufacturer of innovative food products, that are exclusively sold in the leisure branch, for the distribution of the products in foreign territory.

Defending the world’s largest parallel trading group of companies in complex cross-border trademark proceedings against a pharmaceutical company. The main proceedings are still pending before the Court of The Hague.

Acting as counsel for claimant WijKopenAuto’s B.V., in the cancellation proceeding against the trademark ‘IK WIL VAN MIJN AUTO AF’ (‘I want to get rid of my car’) of the competitor Dealerdirect B.V. The trademark has been declared invalid by the Benelux Office for the Intellectual Property (the BOIP). The BOIP ruled that the trademark is merely a common advertisement phrase and therefore lacks any distinctive character. Dealerdirect has appealed this decision. Currently, the appeal proceedings before the Benelux Court of Justice are still pending. 

Acting as defense counsel for a trading company in litigation before the Court of The Hague in a matter touching the heart of trademark law and the free movement of goods. The case was settled amicably between the parties. 

Successfully represented Belgica de Weerd B.V. – a well-known Dutch producer and wholesaler of medicines and food products for professional racing pigeons – in cancellation proceedings before the European Office for the Intellectual Property (the EUIPO) after a conflicting trademark was filed in bad faith by a former business partner. Read the judgement here.

Successfully represented a wholesale international trade pharmaceutical products company as plaintiff in summary proceedings before the Appeal Court of Leeuwarden. The first instance decision was overruled by the Appeal Court on the basis that the executive bailiff had not acted within the boundaries of the interim judge’s leave and that the first instance interim judge had wrongly granted access to the seized information. Consequently, the Appeal Court ordered the defendants in appeal not to use any of its falsely gained information. The decision was published: ECLI:NL:GHARL:2019:293

Other areas of expertise

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