The all-English Netherlands Commercial Court expands to proceedings on IP.
The Netherlands is a popular forum choice for reasons of efficacy, reliability, and transparency of the Dutch Judiciary. The introduction of the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) in 2019 met the needs of internationally active companies to be able to litigate in English before the Dutch court. The NCC resides in Amsterdam and offers all-English proceedings in first instance (district court), in appeal and in summary proceedings. Judgments are in English as well. Litigating in English saves costs for translations and interpreters and enables parties and local counsels to participate in English during court hearings.
Since English is a common language between international business partners and since IP matters regularly have an international context, it has been a desire to be able to litigate international IP disputes in English as well. The NCC now enables this since April 2022. The IP cases before the NCC are dealt with by specialized judges.
To enable the NCC to deal with a matter of IP the Amsterdam Court will have to have jurisdiction. Jurisdiction may follow from a forum-choice stipulation in agreements, except where it concerns the registration or validity of the IP rights concerned. In IP-cases where the Court of The Hague has exclusive jurisdiction, such as for patents, plant variety rights and EU Trademarks and Designs, the NCC cannot be court addressed, except in summary proceedings.
This means cases may be brought before the NNC on i.a. the following topics:
- Benelux trademarks;
- Benelux designs;
- Summary proceedings concerning EU Trademarks and EU designs;
- Trade names;
- Trade secrets;
- Database rights;
For the NCC to be the applicable forum the parties in a dispute must agree on taking their case to the NCC and litigate in English (the NCC Agreement). This can be included in a (broader) contract or be agreed separately after a dispute has arisen. More information about the NCC can be found at www.ncc.gov.nl.
Our specialized team of IP litigators are available to assist you in proceedings before the NCC. Please feel free to reach out would you have any question about the NCC and the forum choice in your contracts.