Willem Leppink

Attorney at law, partner

Willem is an attorney at law and partner with Ploum where he leads the Intellectual property team.

Expertise: Trademark, copyright and advertising law

Willem provides litigation services and advice in the field of trademark, copyright and advertising law. He represents well-known companies throughout Europe in counterfeiting and other infringement matters. He is very experienced in coordinating European brand and marketing-related projects. In the Netherlands he litigates in conflicts regarding intellectual property and in cases about misleading and comparative advertising.


Willem graduated from Groningen University in 1994. Before that he spent a year at the School of Business of Western Carolina University. He was a partner with NautaDutilh and Simmons & Simmons. There he had various management roles in the International Intellectual Property Practice Group and the TMT Sector Group. In 2009 he joined Ploum, where he set up the intellectual property practice.

Legal Matters, Business Counts

Willem is a strong believer in achieving results for his clients, regardless where these are needed on the globe, by finding pragmatic and creative solutions. He helps his client to keep the helicopter view and realizes that most entrepreneurs rather avoid litigation, but that, nonetheless, it is sometimes needed.

Commentators praise Willem Leppink for offering “solid, substantive insight into the principles of trade mark law” and add that he is “a constructive legal communicator driven to achieve common-sense results.” He represents clients in IP disputes relating to anti-counterfeiting and parallel trade, as well as trade mark and copyright litigation. – Chambers 2020

Willem Leppink: Reachable 24/7, very pragmatic and commercial thinking lawyer taking into account the best interests of the company. Has a lot of ready knowledge and also thinks out of the box. Acts as a team player and not as an external advisor. – Legal 500 EMEA 2020


  • MARQUES, the European Association of Trade Mark Owners: Willem is a member of the Executive Committee and in that capacity representing MARQUES in the European Anti-Scam Network
  • Organisation for the Professional Education of Benelux Trademark and Design Attorneys (BBMM): chair
  • WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization: domain name panelist for both .UDRP and .nl disputes, Legal Rights Objections Expert, as well as Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (Trademark PDDRP) panelist
  • Czech Arbitration Court: domain name panelist .eu domain names
  • Committee on Geographical Names of the Municipality of Lansingerland (Gemeente Lansingerland): acting chair
  • Netherlands Intellectual Property Litigation Attorneys (VIEPA): member of the exam board
  • Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (Oxford University Press): member of the editorial board
  • The European Copyright & Design (Sweet & Maxwell): member of the editorial board
  • Dutch advertising blog Reclameboek.nl: member of the editorial board
  • Netherlands Advertising Law Association (VvRr): honorary member
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law (BMM) [link naar bmm.nl]
  • European Trade Mark Association (ECTA)
  • Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle  (AIPPI)


Willem is recommended as top 7 expert on trade mark law in The Netherlands in the  WTR1000 of World Trademark Review. He is also recommended in Chambers Europe and Chambers Global. He is listed in the Legal 500, the Guide of the World’s Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners, Best Lawyers for Advertising Law en in PLC’s Which Lawyer. He was the winner of both the 2010 and the 2011 International Law Office Client Choice Award for intellectual property law. His team won Acquisition International’s 2012 Legal Award for Trademark law firm of the year.

Willem Leppink is a dedicated lawyer who is an excellent negotiator and strategic thinker. Not just pushing forward his own agenda, he looks at the wider picture and will convince clients to settle if need be. – WTR1000 – 2020


  • ‘European trade mark law: Quo Vadis?’, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, januari 2019
  • How not using a trade mark becomes use of a trade mark, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice – Oxford University Press, Volume 13, Issue 12, 1 December 2018, Pages 925–927, Current Intelligence article on Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Judgment in Mitsubishi v Duma, C-129/17, EU: C: 2018: 594, 25 July 2018
  • Mitsubishi / Duma, case note on this judgment of the CJEU on the removal of trademarks, Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2018/55
  • KNVW/Wijnoutlet.nl, case note on this judgment on unfair commercial practices and comparative advertising, Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2018/15
  • A Practical Guide to Protection from Online Infringement, Chapter on The Netherlands, Globe Law and Business, 2017
  • Stichting Misrekening/ING, case note on this judgment on unfair commercial practices, Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2011/62
  • ‘Is there life for IP owners after Nokia and Philips’, World Trademark Review, april/mei 2011
  • ‘Order from a Community trade mark court should have effect throughout the entire EU’, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, januari 2011
  • ‘The battle of The Hague: R4 and mod chips game over?’, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, oktober 2010
  • Zonnatura, case note on this Supreme Court of The Netherlands judgment on the interpretation of intellectual property rights in a corporate transaction, Ondernemingsrecht 2004, 262

The Netherlands Bar’s register of legal practice areas (rechtsgebiedenregister)

Willem Leppink has registered the following principal (and secondary) legal practice areas in the Netherlands Bar’s register of legal practice areas (rechtsgebiedenregister):

  • Intellectual Property (intellectueel eigendomsrecht)

Based on this registration, Willem Leppink is required to obtain ten training credits per calendar year in each registered principal legal practice area in accordance with the standards set by the Netherlands Bar.