Hollandaisas slips up on flip-flops
In 2013 the Central Netherlands District Court ruled in a case brought by flip-flop manufacturer Havaianas. The company objected to Hollandaisas' use of the trademark HOLLANDAISAS and the design of its flip-flops, as both were too similar to Havaianas' own trademark and flip-flops.
According to the judge, the trademarks HOLLANDAISAS and HAVAIANAS were not similar enough to create confusion, despite the fact that the court had accepted that the HAVAIANAS trademark was familiar.
However, the judge held that the Hollandaisas flip-flops were in breach of the Havaianas design. The Havaianas flip-flops were protected by copyright due to the combination of:
- the position of the word mark HAVAIANAS on the band;
- the Brazilian flag beside the trademark;
- the pattern – resembling grains of rice - on the footbed of the flip-flops;
- the rice grain pattern itself; and
- the coloured stripes along the side of the footbed.
These five characteristic elements were almost identical on the Hollandaisas flip-flops. Thus, the overall impression was that the flip-flops were similar, despite the fact that the HOLLANDAISAS mark appeared on the Hollandaisas flip-flops.
Therefore, the court held that the HOLLANDAISAS trademark did not violate the HAVAIANAS trademark, but the flip-flops on which the trademark was printed did.
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