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Geo-blocking and copyright

The Anne Frank manuscripts case: Geo-blocking is a suitable means of safeguarding copyright

The highly topical case in the Netherlands shows that copyright protection in the digital age still raises questions whose answers are not always clear. In the preliminary decision of the Amsterdam Law Bank of 01 February 2022 (Ref.: C/13/710961 /KG ZA 21-1010), the question was now whether geo-blocking is sufficiently suitable for the protection of copyright of the owner.


The case was brought by the Swiss-based Anne Frank Fund against the Dutch-based Anne Frank Foundation and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), and the Association for Research and Accessibility of Historical Texts based in Belgium. Read more

National Tulip Day

National Tulip Day: legally relevant?


In January, the tulip season starts and the official kick-off will take place this year on 15 January with various events, if that is allowed under the COVID-19 measures.


The tulip has been an important export product for the Netherlands for centuries, although it is not originally a Dutch product. However, this blog is not about the history of the tulip. The tulip has been the subject of various legal proceedings. Below, one of those legal proceedings will be briefly discussed. Also, the possibilities of the legal protection of a tulip (or any other flower or plant) will be discussed.

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The algorithm of creation, is artificial intelligence an artist per se?

How are the works “created” by artificial intelligence protected in the face of the new resolutions adopted by the European Parliament?

From Deepmind, an English company owned by Google, which has created a program capable of composing music without assistance, to Dreamwriter, a Chinese algorithm that became a victim to plagiarism in 2019, the contribution of new technologies to the artistic world is unprecedented. Recurring themes of the last few months: artificial intelligence (AI) is now used by creative professionals. Originally used for scientific and statistical studies, algorithms are spreading in our information and communication societies. Artists have quickly jumped on the bandwagon and have also made use of these new tools, which are obviously very useful for their creative process. This new technological use, however, tends materially to deconstruct the classical link between the work and the artist, raising questions about the nature of copyright protection, its raison d’être. As the European institutions gradually take up these observations, the question arises as to what extent artificial intelligence in the artistic field contributes to a rethinking of continental copyright protection. Read more

Royal Dutch Football Association promotes sex toys against its will

The pandemic has hit football hard. Many football clubs are struggling financially and sponsors are withdrawing. The effect of sponsorship is limited of course if no matches are being played or being played without an audience. However, the company EasyToys – intended sponsor of FC Emmen – got a lot of attention this season, partly thanks to the prudery of the Royal Dutch Football Association. Read more

Enforcement of a foreign judgment in the Netherlands

You have received a favourable judgment from a foreign court and wish to enforce it in the Netherlands. What possibilities does Dutch law offer to enforce decisions from foreign countries? Certainly, the recognition and enforcement of a non-European judgment in the Netherlands can be complex. This article provides a brief introduction to whether and under what conditions recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is possible. Read more

The webinar ‘’NOW regulation in action’’ on the emergency measures due to Covid-19 by Heffels Spiegeler Advocaten

Presentation by Heffels Spiegeler Attorneys-at-Law with answers to the following questions:

  • What is the NOW regulation?
  • Is your company eligible?
  • How much money can your company receive?
  • Formula
  • Turnover and wages
  • Example calculation
  • Can I still terminate contracts?
  • How do you apply?
  • Is there a risk that you have to pay back?
  • Alternatives?
  • Does it make sense to apply?

Support for Companies in France

In recent weeks, the world has been experiencing a completely new health situation. The coronavirus continues to spread, forcing some governments to take unprecedented measures. Thus, since 17 March 2020, following Italy and Spain, the French have been confined to their homes. Only those in necessary positions (medical world, supermarkets, etc.) continue to work. This quarantine worries many companies for which the economic fallout could have a catastrophic, even fatal, impact. To avoid this as much as possible, the French government has therefore taken several types of measures.

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registration legal practice areas

The advocates listed below have registered the following principal (and secondary) legal practice areas in the Netherlands Bar’s register of legal areas:
a. Brigitte Spiegeler is registered for ‘Burgerlijk procesrecht’ (Civil procedural law),Arbitrage’ (Arbitration),Beslag- en executierecht’ (Attachment and foreclosure law), Litigation andIntellectueel eigendomsrecht’ (Intellectual property law);
b. Michiel Heffels is registered for ‘Algemene praktijk’ (General practice),Burgerlijk recht’ (Civil law).
Based on this registration, they are required to obtain ten training credits per calendar year in each registered principal legal practice area in accordance with the standards set by the Netherlands Bar.

The following advocates are exempted from the obligation to state a legal specialisation.
a. Ernst van Knobelsdorff;
b. Catherine Gambette.

Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in The Netherlands

With your company, you successfully and carefully create value with your intellectual property for years to come. The purpose of this article is to point out to you, as the owner of intellectual property rights (such as trademarks, copyrights, designs and patents) in the Netherlands, the possibilities of enforcing these rights and of combating infringement.


Short Summary Proceedings

In summary proceedings, it may be claimed in urgent cases that the infringer is prohibited from commercially exploiting the infringing products. A disadvantage is that no damages can be claimed in summary proceedings. You will have to start proceedings on the merits for this. An advantage of this procedure is that, in principle, the legal costs (including the costs of your lawyer) will have to be paid by the other party, if the court assigns your claim. Another advantage is that you can relatively quickly prevent an infringing party from (continuing to) perform the infringing acts.

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Street Art: copyright law is on the street!

The development of street art in the last few decades has led to more elaborate forms of the early graffiti movement, including spray paintings, mosaics, and installations in public spaces by renowned artists like Banksy. From a legal perspective, this begs the question as to what rights do these works of art possess if they were created on a privately or publicly owned space (even illegally), and what limitations do artists have in seeking compensation if ever their works are altered from their original intention? The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently held a webinar presented by Spanish attorney Elisa Carrión Álvarez on May 28th about this topic, discussing the extent to which street art is protected under copyright law in the European Union and in common law countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.

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