7-Eleven vs. 7-Alive

In its decision of 8 May 2009 the Supreme Court of The Netherlands (“Hoge Raad”) in The Hague largely dismissed the conclusion of the Advocate-General and reversed the appeal decision of the Court of Appeals of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in proceedings on the merits started by 7-Eleven, Inc. against a local convenience store in St. Maarten that is using a logo similar to its famous 7-Eleven logo (see photos).

“3.3 The Court of Appeals considered in paragraph 11 of its decision that 7-Eleven’s reliance on copyright protection could not succeed, because it was asserted without sufficient documentation that 7-Eleven can be regarded as the entitled party to the work.

3.4 The ground for cassation aimed against this consideration complains justly that this perspective demonstrates an incorrect interpretation of Article 6 of the Copyright Ordinance 1913 (“Auteursrechtverordening”), which 7-Eleven has invoked. After all, it follows from this provision that 7-Eleven without having to provide additional documentation has to be regarded as the creator of its logo, barring proof to the contrary, on the basis of the asserted publication, which does not mention any name of a natural person.”

In the reversed appeal proceedings the local convenience 7-Alive store must prove that 7-Eleven, Inc. is not the owner of the copyrights to its logo in order to successfully rely on its defense claim that 7-Eleven, Inc. cannot invoke exclusive rights thereto.  

(Source: www.boek9.nl)

May, 2009

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