European legislation increasingly governs industrial property law. The last piece of industrial property law that Europe has not yet got to grips with is trade name law. Trade name law regulates the use of company names in the course of trade. In the Netherlands, the law relating to trade names is laid down in the Trade Name Act of 1921. At the time of its enactment, the purpose of the Trade Name Act was to bring order to the economic playing field by prohibiting certain conduct that could not be tolerated, in particular for reasons of public interest. Deceptive and confusing conduct was considered to be unacceptable. The Trade Name Act has hardly changed in the past century. Nevertheless, society and business have been subject to major changes. In this study the functioning of the Trade Name Act has been analysed. It has been assessed whether the Trade Name Act is still sufficiently in line with the current economic reality. The answer to this question can be helpful in practice in the application of the law and provides insight into the question which provisions of the Trade Name Act need improvement or change in order to function as a future-proof regulation.

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T. Cohen Jehoram (Tobias)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

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