The secret weapon of the Benelux trademark registration
Benelux trademark registrations have a huge advantage compared to other, f.i. EU registrations. The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP) provides for additional protection, namely against the use of signs other than as a trademark. As in most trademark law systems, a Benelux trademark owner is able to stop the use of (1) an identical sign for identical/similar goods and/or services, (2) a similar sign for identical/similar goods and/or services if a likelihood of confusion exists and (3) an identical/similar sign without due cause that takes unfair advantage of or is detrimental to the distinctive character or the repute of the trademark that enjoys a reputation in the Benelux territory. Benelux trademark owners are also able to stop the use of a sign ‘for purposes other than those of distinguishing the goods or services, where use of the sign without due cause would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or the repute of the trademark.’ In practice, this clause is mainly relied on in cases where the trademark owner tries to stop the use of a trade name (company name), a domain name or use in social media/on internet in general. Often with success. Companies that are on the verge of making a decision as to where to apply for a trademark registration should take this advantage into account.
The well-known and talented Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen earns serious amounts of money with racing. But there is an alternative financial source: his portrait.