HEKS’NKAAS v. Dip & Smeer’m
Witch’s Cheese B.V. v Kuhlmann
Case No: C/05/364119/Kg SAT 19-528 – 12 March 2020
Heksenkaas BV worked with Kühlmann to develop an important ingredient for the original HEKS’NKAAS cheese dip. After this collaboration ended, Kühlmann developed a similar cheese dip, with similar packaging called Dip & Smeer’m. Both products have a cardboard strip with a white background and graphic elements of purple and green, including a garlic bulb, leek stalk and parsley leaf drawn in a cartoon-like style, cartoon-style lettering and a number of stars. Heksenkaas BV has a trade mark for their packaging with and without the brand name, and filed an opposition to Kühlmann. Kühlmann argued that the packaging is not a trade mark and they use a different name.
The Judge ruled that the packaging of the Dip & Smeer’m cheese dip, due to the various corresponding elements with the packaging of the HEKS’NKAAS cheese dip, makes the same overall impression, and on this basis, it is assumed that shoppers may be confused between the two products. The Judge said it is plausible that Kühlmann did not do this without intention, but consciously wanted to take advantage of the success of the HEKS’NKAAS cheese dip on the market. For this reason, it was ruled by the Judge that Kühlmann does infringe the packaging brand of Heksenkaas BV. Kühlmann are no longer allowed to produce or sell the Dip & Smeer’m cheese dip in its current packaging, and if they do, they must pay periodic penalty payments.