ECJ: the trademark owner may withdraw the consent to use its trademarks

On 19 September 2013, in proceedings C-661/11, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided that the trademark owner has the right to withdraw the consent to use the trademark granted to a third party.

Martin y Paz Diffusion SA (hereafter Martin) registered the trademarks ‘N’, ‘Nathan’, ‘Nathan Baume’ and shared their use with Fabriek van Maroquinerie Gauquie NV (hereafter Fabriek).

After years of shared use, Martin asked the Belgian courts to order to Fabriek to stop using any sign that is identical or similar to its trademarks. The Cour d’Appel of Bruxelles ruled that Martin’s consent to Fabriek was irrevocable and that Martin’s claims represented a trademark abuse…

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