For goodwill marks.
“The trademark” and “the lawyer” often face each other. Your trademark is the main way to distinguish yourself from competitors and to show the quality of your products or services. It is about creation, registration and enforcement. Research, registration, trademark monitoring, action against a trademark rejection (BOIP, EUIPO) and/or an infringement and negotiating about licence and royalties are the key issues in trademark law.
The trademark right itself gives the holder an exclusive right to a mark to distinguish its products or services and thus to prohibit other parties from causing brand confusion. Other parties may not use your brand without permission. You may prohibit anyone from committing acts of counterfeiting (fake), and near-imitation.
A trademark has several functions: it identifies your product or service, the trademark communicates with your consumer and the trademark positions the origin. This trademark can be a name but also a combination with a logo, packaging or shape of the product (shape mark). Ask us for advice, because trademark law can be complex.
Even fragrance and sound marks exist. Trademarks embody your “goodwill” and reputation, even when it is used in domain name form. Trademarks should be registered with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (online registration of EU brand with EUIPO) or with the World International Property Organization (online registration of International Brand with WIPO Worldwide). This also applies to trademark renewal. Your older trademark usage with registration prevails over someone who files the same trademark later. However, older trademark use of a later filing may play a role.
As lawyers in trademark law, we regularly litigate at the EUIPO or the Benelux Office (trademark expiry cases).
Trademarks can be annulled on various grounds: e.g. if it has no distinctive character or if it is hardly used. Thorough research at home and abroad is important, but also our litigation experience where tactics and strategy in cases of infringements and negotiations require a professional approach. Fruytier Lawyers in Business knows trademark law.
Court Order – Ex parte order – Einstweilige Verfügung
We litigate regularly, levy attachment and request court orders (“ex parte”) for serious infringements or aim to lift such orders and seizures. Ex parte means “without hearing the other party”, i.e. the judge unilaterally issues an order on the application we prepare for you, on account of the infringement and urgency, without the other party having knowledge thereof. The law stipulates that this must be done through a lawyer.
By buying and selling over the internet, the competition of shops or merchants has shifted and the concurrence with the trademark, the domain name and the search terms have become essential. It is about e-marketing with, for example, Adwords: how do I attract a surfing audience (internet traffic, SEO – search engine optimizer). Do you also use your domain name as a trade name and how do you use the search terms? The rules on trademarks and trade names apply, but also those of deception, comparative advertising and slavish imitation.
licensing; cross license
trademark research / trade name research (also internationally)
drafting franchise, distribution and agency contracts
seizure of imitation and accounting information
misleading communication and comparative advertising
trademark transfer, transfer pricing, royalties
advice on trademark policy
preparing settlement of trademarks in a settlement agreement
the court order (the “red” card in law, also referred to as the “einstweilige Verfügung”).