Three recent decisions involving domain names and trademarks should be noted.

On 24 April 1997 the Appeal Court of Amsterdam ruled that the domain name does not infringe the trademark Ouders van Nu, even though the latter has acquired (the equivalent of) secondary meaning. The Court did not address the question whether use of a domain name for a website is use of a sign (or trade name) for the goods or services on that website.

On 15 May 1997 the President of the District Court Amsterdam decided that IMG Holland N.V., by using the domain name, had infringed the trademark rights of La Bouchere N.V., a Dutch merchant bank. Similar decisions were given with respect to names of other banks used as part of domain names registered by IMG Holland N.V. The President is of the opinion that the use of the domain names by IMG for websites with information on the products of the banks involved infringes the trademark and trade name rights of those banks. In addition, the President deems the use of the domain names by IMG Holland unlawful, because the public would be misled, since the domain names wrongly suggest that the websites involved are provided by the banks.

Finally, on 29 May 1997 the Appeal Court Amsterdam ruled that the domain name does not infringe upon the trademark Xlink. In the opinion of the Court Xlink is a weak, almost descriptive trademark in connection with the internet, and there is no likelihood of confusion with xxlink.

For further information please contact:

Wolter Wefers Bettink 
Telephone: 00-31-20-5772367 
Facsimile: 00-31-20-5772703