An appeal court in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, ruled that Ferro Footwear, a Dutch shoe sourcing and trading company, should not be condemned for using signs similar to trademarks registered by Puma for its own shoes. Puma had ordered the seizure of a batch of Ferro shoes from the shelves of a Dutch store, arguing that the curvy sign on the model in question, the Viscap, breached Puma’s trademark rights. The Viscap was decorated with a stripe resembling what is known as the “fork strip,” a Puma trademark in which its well-known formstrip splits in two at the ball of the foot. Puma’s claims had already been broadly rejected by a lower court. The new verdict puts an end to the case. It says that Puma had failed to make regular use of the fork strip trademark in the Benelux and that its rights therefore expired on March 2005. It further argued that the use of signs similar to the formstrip could not be deemed confusing and that Puma didn’t have a monopoly on all forms of curved decorations on the side of shoes. On the other hand, it rejected Ferro’s claim to the payment of damages, arguing that there was not sufficient proof of the connection between the publicized seizure of the Viscap shoes and reduced orders for this model.