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Van Wonderen Stroopwafels wins cancellation proceedings from former associates

20 February 2024

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, a client of de Merkplaats, has won cancellation proceedings against its former associates at the Benelux Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

After our client went bankrupt during the corona pandemic, he relaunched and reopened his successful stroopwafel (syrup waffle) shop on Kalverstraat in Amsterdam.

At some point, he was accused of trademark infringement by his former associates. As it turned out, the trademark Van Wonderen Stroopwafels had been registered in the name of an obscure company in Brussels several years earlier. Our client had been requested to close his shop and pay damages.

On the advice of de Merkplaats, the client then initiated cancellation proceedings against the trademark invoked against it on the grounds that it had been registered in bad faith at the time. The client had never been informed, let alone given consent, for the trademark which had been registered in 2019.

Initially, in a poorly reasoned decision, the Benelux Trademark Office had not classified the trademark as being filled in bad faith. So, with the help of the attorney, Mr. Remco Klöters (LLM) of SOLV Advocaten, the Benelux Court of Justice has now overturned that decision and declared the trademark invalid.

The former associates had not demonstrated, in any manner whatsoever, that our client had given permission for the trademark to be registered in the name of a third party based in Belgium. According to the Benelux court, the commercial logic of the chosen structure to park the trademark rights with a third party had not been demonstrated.

The trademark was then being used to antagonise our client and gain financial benefit from its prior use. This is contrary to the purpose and intent of the trademark right. In other words, in bad faith!

A great result for our client who can now continue to build on his successful stroopwafel trademark.


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