A tale of shared use of two trademarks

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This case concerns the shared use of the mark NATHAN BAUME and a stylised N for various leather fashion items produced by two entities: Martin Y Paz Diffusion SA and Gauquie.

Their shared use stemmed from their respective purchases of the Benelux word mark NATHAN sold to each of them by a man called Mr Baquet under the condition that each party use the mark in relation to certain goods: Martin Y Paz in relation to small leather goods excluding bags and Gauquie agreed not to produce and distribute small leather goods.

Without Gauquie’s knowledge, Martin Y Paz registered two Benelux trademarks: one for NATHAN BAUME and a stylised ‘N’. In the meantime, Gauquie and Martin Y Paz shared the use of these two marks (with Gauquie seemingly unaware of the registrations), selling their products to each other and displaying them in their respective shops. Eventually, their commercial relationship deteriorated and they ended up in the Belgian courts in a dispute over the trademarks…

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