Games manufacturer Ravensburger holds a trademark registration for MEMORY in the Benelux, and has used it for a memory game since 1961.

Online games provider Jaludo supplies games with names which are combined with the word 'memory', such as Jungle Memory. Ravensburger claimed that this was an infringement of its rights, but Jaludo disagreed. Jaludo stated that the word 'memory' could be used for games because it explained that the game in question was a memory game. Ravensburger launched legal proceedings to end the alleged infringement of its trademark rights.

On October 26 2015 in preliminary relief proceedings the Court of Amsterdam held that the word combinations used by Jaludo did not infringe Ravensburger’s MEMORY trademark. The court rejected Ravensburger’s case because Jaludo used the word 'memory' as a description of its games.

The judge considered the English word 'memory' to be a familiar term among the relevant public in the Netherlands. The word is used in many combinations, such as 'memory stick' and 'memory card'.  Because Jaludo’s games involved the use of memory, the public would immediately understand that the word 'memory' in the game titles referred to this aspect of the games.

Marlous Stal-Hilders

This article first appeared in IAM. For further information please visit www.iam-media.com.