‘Blond’ and ‘Blond Amsterdam’ are trademarks of the Dutch company Blond Amsterdam and used for a popular brand of tableware.
This tableware, consisting of plates, tea cups, sugar bowls, cookie bowls, etc, is decorated with colourful images of hearts, cupcakes, strawberries, sugar lumps, coffee beans, girl figures and handwritten texts. The typical style of the tableware is known throughout the Netherlands among young, mostly female, consumers.
Apparently, this popularity caused another company, Xenos, to introduce tableware which also depicts colourful hearts, cupcakes and happily chatting girls. Blond was not amused and started interim injunction proceedings, based on copyright infringement and slavish imitation. The first instance court rejected all Blond’s claims, stating that a certain sphere and style cannot be copyright-protected.
It also denied the slavish imitation claim based on the negative consequential affect of the Dutch Copyright Act, and the lack of exceptional circumstances. Blond appealed against this decision, persisting in its claims. On February 28, 2012 the Court of Appeal of Hertogenbosch handed down its decision.
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Netherlands, Blonde Amsterdam, injunction