Ssssssssssssssssssst! It is time for the Silent Nigh Run, organised by the organisation Stadswild in Amsterdam. This is the name of an organised run through Amsterdam and all participants should be silent. So you can hear, silently, the city noise. Great idea, isn’t?
But now there is a new run in Amsterdam called mindful Silentrun. Stadswild is not very happy with this name: there should be only one silent run with the name Silent Run in it.
Although the explanation of Stadswild is logical and understandable, as a trademark attorney you always have to look at both sides of the story: can you claim such a generic name as a Silent Run or Silent Night Run? As a trademark probably no, a silent run just informs us on the characteristics of the run. But as a company name, this might be protected, the requirements of distinctiveness do not apply to company names in Holland. While mindful Silentrun now received a letter of an attorney they already skipped the word Silent in the name. But they will not comply to the demands in the letter of the attorney. So, maybe continued…
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”