June 2018. In 2017, Utrecht-based shopping mall Hoog Catharijne successfully removed commercial property company Rodamco’s European rights to the device mark ‘Mall of the Netherlands’ from the trademark register. Rodamco hadn’t used the mark for over five years and its rights had therefore lapsed, the European Trademark Office EUIPO concluded in 2017. Rodamco responded by lodging an appeal.

No arguments

Unfortunately for Rodamco, it came to nothing. Despite repeated requests, the company failed to submit its supporting arguments in time, and EUIPO has since been forced to declare the appeal inadmissible. That seems to be the end of the road for the device mark shown above. Oddly enough, though, Rodamco paid to have its registration renewed for another ten years. Clearly a waste of money!

New registrations

Despite losing the battle for this particular device mark, Rodamco seems to be going full steam ahead with the phrase ‘The Mall of the Netherlands’ as the name of its new shopping centre in Leidsenhage, which is due to open in 2019. The company has even registered three new European trademarks and included an artist’s impression of the new mall on its website.

Trade name clash?

This could lead to a new clash with Hoog Catharijne, which has amended its trade name in the chamber of commerce register to ‘Hoog Catharijne Mall of the Netherlands’. The situation has all the makings of a trade name dispute. After all, having two similarly–named shopping centres in the Western part of the Netherlands might be somewhat confusing. But if it’s a simple matter of a tussle over trade names, then Rodamco could have the stronger suit. After all, it’s been using the name for some time now in preparation for the opening of its new mall, whereas Hoog Catharijne seems to have done nothing more than amend its chamber of commerce entry. That probably isn’t enough to allow it to claim trade name rights, which you can only do if you’ve actually used the name.

Bas Kist