The 'Wapperverbod': in for a penny, in for a pound


Michiel Rijsdijk

Actively dealing with infringement is vital when dealing with IP. There should be actual rights to enforce. Indiscriminate claims purporting infringement of a patent or other IP rights are prohibited.

In the Netherlands this is called a ‘wapperverbod’, which can be roughly translated into a ‘waving (with claims) ban’. If one party claims that his IP rights are being infringed, there should be valid IP rights, and the claim should also be acted upon. In the recent Betsoft v Bubble case the court of the Hague had to put this situation in an international perspective.

Two computer software developers make slot machine games for use on PCs. Betsoft, based in Cyprus, introduced the idea of bringing an icon in the game forward, as if coming towards the player. This was called the ‘Expandicon effect’.

Betsoft claimed it had copyright on the source code of the Expandicon effect, as well as on the look and feel it created. Betsoft had approached many parties around the world, claiming copyright infringement.

IP rights, Betsoft, Bubble, US Copyright office,