Thijs van Aerde

Thijs van Aerde

Advocaat | Counsel

Languages

Dutch
English
German
French

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Thijs specialises in Supreme Court litigation, as well as representing clients before the European Court of Justice and the lower Dutch courts. In the ten years he has worked at Houthoff, Thijs has litigated more than 100 cases before the Dutch Supreme Court and many cases before the lower Dutch courts. Thijs focuses on issues related to intellectual property law, contract law, tort law, and procedural law matters.
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Clients describe him as a "very pleasant lawyer with good skills."
    Chambers Europe, Intellectual Property: General - Mostly Trade Mark/Copyright (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Recommended
    Legal 500, Media and Entertainment (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Senior associate Thijs van Aerde is ‘very clever, knowledgeable and always available’.
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property: Trade marks, copyrights and design rights (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Next generation lawyer
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property: Trade marks, copyrights and design rights (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    ‘Clued-in’ senior associate Thijs van Aerde is one of the key litigators
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property: Patents (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Next generation lawyer
     
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Senior associate Thijs van Aerde is ‘a well-versed litigator’ and a ‘star’."
     
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Very knowledgeable" senior associate Thijs van Aerde is "to the point", and is praised for his "clear mind".
     
    Legal 500, Intellectual Property (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Senior associate Thijs van Aerde is a ‘star litigator’."
     
    Legal 500, Media and Entertainment (2017 Edition)

He also lectures on litigating IP cases before the Dutch appeal courts. He is a member of the Dutch Association of Civil Cassation Lawyers (VCCA), the Dutch Association for Procedural Law (NVVP) and the Dutch Group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI).

Qualifications & Experience

  • LL.M. Law & ICT (University of Groningen)

  • In 2016 KwikFit launched a campaign in which it alleged that the 'KwikFit Brand Service' (Kwikfit Merkbeurt) was always 30% cheaper than service carried out by authorised repairers. In doing so, it made use of the trademark rights (logos) of many car manufacturers.

    On behalf of 18 car manufacturers, Houthoff challenged the validity of the KwikFit campaign. Following discussions with the fast fitter, KwikFit gave up its claims and ceased the use of the logos.

  • Early 2017, Profile launced a campaign in which it alleged that 'Profile Brand Service' (Profile Merkonderhoud) was much cheaper (up to 28%) than the service of the authorised repairers. It did not use and trademark rights of car manufacturers.

    Again, Houthoff acted on behalf of 18 car manufacturers and made an end to the Profile campaign, as Profile was unable to demonstrate that it was always much cheaper than the authorised repairers.

  • Houthoff Buruma advised founders Eelko van Kooten and Roger de Graaf in the sale of record label Spinnin' Records to Warner Music Group.

    Spinnin' Records was founded in 1999 and found fame with artists such as Armand van Helden, Fedde le Grand, Afrojack and Martin Solveigh.
  • Represented telecom provider T-Mobile Netherlands against a former agent of T-Mobile in a landmark case on agency law before the Supreme Court and the referral Amsterdam Appeal Court. After the Supreme Court set the rules for calculating the due goodwill fee after termination of an agency agreement, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal decided on the goodwill fee due in this specific matter.
  • Representing an US based company specialised in development and manufacturing of airport equipment in trade secret infringement proceedings in The Netherlands. The proceedings are pending at the District Court of The Hague under a confidentiality regime.
  • Litigation concerning infringement of copyright on the tins of the famous mooncakes of Maxim’s of Hong Kong.
  • Representing broadcasting company SBS before the Supreme Court in a case concerning defamation and breach of a settlement agreement. The case concerns the broadcast of the image of a family member of a prisoner sentenced for commissioning an assassination in a promo for a crime reporter's program on television, contrary to a settlement agreement. In this matter, Thijs is engaged by the lawyer for SBS who represented SBS in first instance and appeal, Ms Schaap of Visser, Schaap & Kreijger.
  • Representing broadcasting company BNN-Vara in Supreme Court litigation against telecom company Pretium. In summary proceedings, BNN-Vara was ordered to remove a broadcast about Pretium from its internet archives on pain of penalty for each day the broadcast was still available. BNN-Vara, after taking all reasonably required measures, was unaware of the fact the broadcast had not been removed due to an unforeseen technical error. Opposing party Pretium was aware of this but chose to withhold this information from BNN-Vara, thereby allowing the daily penalties to increase. Therefore, the case concerns the question under what circumstances the right to claim incremental penalties incurred by the opposing party, is abused and under what circumstances this right may be limited.
  • Representing a large US Greek letter fraternity in a dispute concerning the unauthorised publication of their rituals on a website by a Dutch foundation.
  • Representing AIB in Supreme Court litigation against seeds producer Novisem on infringement of the plant variety rights of AIB's members (international seed companies). The case concerns (i) interpretation of the legal concept "offering for sale" in the Seeds and Planting Materials Act 2005 and (ii) the criteria under which a claim for disclosure of documents relating to an infringement by an opposing party may be allowed.
  • Representing Windpark Afrikahaven, a wind park in the Amsterdam Harbour, in litigation concerning (inter alia) a € 26 million turnkey agreement before the Rotterdam District Court and the Hague Court of Appeal against Sustainable Future Fund, a vehicle controlled by a former director of Econcern, the former shareholder and director of Windpark Afrikahaven. The case concerns the question which party has the best rights to the remainder of the financing of the construction of the wind park on a building deposit account; a contingency which was never used.
  • Successfully representing Pictoright, the Dutch author’s rights organisation for visual creators, in copyright litigation against Allposters before both the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. Thijs obtained a favourable preliminary ruling from the ECJ, i.e. that the distribution rights of the maker of a copyright protected work are not exhausted when the copies thereof undergo a physical transformation after their first sale in the European Community. On 12 August 2014, leading IP blog 'The IPKat' dubbed this case "the CJEU copyright case to look most forward to". The ECJ has referred the case back to the Dutch Supreme Court.
  • Successfully representing Rotterdam's Erasmus University Medical Centre, one of the largest and most authoritative scientific University Medical Centres in Europe, in summary proceedings before the Rotterdam interim injunction judge against a spin-off company about the licensing and development of software for laboratory information management and the early detection of hospital-acquired infections (HAI's).
  • Successfully representing Ryanair in litigation before the Dutch Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice against PR Aviation and their online booking website Wegolo which also sells tickets for Ryanair flights. The ECJ ruled that a maker of a database which is not protected by copyright or database right, may impose contractual limitations on the use of that database. The ECJ has referred the case back to the Dutch Supreme Court.
  • Succesfully representing Rotterdam's Erasmus University Medical Center, one of the largest and most authoritative scientific University Medical Centers in Europe, and Erasmus University in summary proceedings before the Rotterdam interim injunction judge against a spin-off company about the licensing and development of software for laboratory information management and the early detection of hospital-acquired infections (HAI's).
  • The Unbundling Act requires that the integrated energy companies unbundle their network companies, and forbids privatization thereof. Three large energy companies argued that the act infringes on the right to free movement of capital and therefore does not bind them. After a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Unbundling Act is in line with the right to free movement of capital. The Supreme Court reasons that the objectives of the Unbundling Act are ‘important reasons in the public interest’ and that the entailing restrictions on the free movement of capital or freedom of establishment are justified.