Arubags trademark or copyright?

Aruba in it. Arubags initiated a court action to prevent Koolman from selling bags containing the “Arubags” design. Arubags had registered the trademark in Aruba in June 2010. Koolman had been retailing the products since 2004 and based on that the court of first instance of Aruba ruled in favor of Koolman based on the right of first use.Arubags appealed and the appellate court ruled in favor of Arubags; however the appellate court based the decision on the copyrights of Arubags not based on trademark. Koolman perceived this decision to be a “surprise-ruling” since Arubags had not made any allegations about copyrights during the proceedings.

The Supreme Court in The Hague later ruled that the appellate court had gone beyond the scope of the dispute by making a ruling based on copyright, while Arubags had not made such claim in court. The Supreme Court quashed the ruling and ordered the case back to the appellate court for further evaluation based on trademark aspects. The appellate court will now have to re-visit the matter and determined which of the parties has the right of first use of the trademark Arubags in Aruba.

Gomez & Bikker acted as advisor of Koolman on Supreme Curt aspects.

Complete ruling: