In a decision of a Dutch District Court earlier this year[1], the American fast-food chain Wendy’s suffered a loss against a local Dutch snack restaurant, which bears the name WENDY’S. The trademark registration owned by the same snack restaurant blocks the American chain to enter the market. Although this case has similarities with the story…

LEGO, JENSEN and UTZON have in-common that they all are trademarks and last names at the same time. A decade ago the reputed producer of construction toys for children LEGO tried to prohibit Louise Lego Andersen – painter and gallery owner – from e.g. signing her paintings as “L. Lego” (see ruling V 150/03). LEGO…

Weapon of Choice: Protection of Names under Civil Law Before German courts, the best weapon against bothersome domain name registrations is not trademark law, but civil law. Sec. 12 of the German Civil Code (BGB) states quite broadly that the bearer of a name can keep others from using that name if such use compromised…