The Amsterdam Court of Appeal recently overturned the victory obtained by Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen before the Amsterdam District Court in a dispute concerning his portrait rights. The matter in question concerned the use of a Verstappen lookalike in a video ad. The appeal court's decision appears to have opened up the possibility of using lookalikes for parody purposes – even in ads. Nonetheless, parties should tread carefully, as much depends on the circumstances of the case.
The Hague District Court recently had to answer the question of whether information acquired during a customs seizure under the EU Anti-piracy Regulation may be used for an unauthorised parallel import claim. The regulation provides an effective means and procedure for IP rights holders to request Customs to intercept consignments suspected of containing counterfeit or pirated goods and to have said goods destroyed.
In 2019 The Hague Court of Appeal overruled a first-instance court decision even though that court had followed an earlier German higher court decision based on the principle of loyalty under EU law. The Dutch judgment demonstrates that trademark law specifics can easily stand in the way of the EU principle of loyalty. It is also a useful reminder that, in the context of trademark infringement assessments, a trademark's level of distinctiveness is a substantial aspect, but one which can change due to evolving market circumstances.
In preliminary proceedings, The Hague District Court recently assessed whether an injunction could be granted against an Irish director of a company based in Ireland in relation to a copyright infringement in the Netherlands. This judgment is a useful reminder that company directors who are not domiciled in the Netherlands can be liable under Dutch law on directors' liability when offering infringing products in the Netherlands.
The Supreme Court recently requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the competence of district courts in summary proceedings relating to EU community designs. An immediate consequence of the ECJ's decision is that district courts other than the one in The Hague will be unable to provide provisional measures in cases relating to EU trademarks.