Attorney at law, Partner

Willem Leppink


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

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 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.

What clients say about me

Willem Leppink is “hands-on, results oriented and an excellent communicator. He is one of the most experienced practitioners in the country”. – WTR1000 – 2022


‘Willem Leppink provides thoughtful, practical and strategic guidance. He is very prompt to respond to queries, is approachable and lovely to work with. He keeps you looped in at all times and is definitely a top IP practitioner.’ – Legal 500 EMEA 2022


‘Willem Leppink and Sabin Tigu stand out on IP. Both are driven by a team approach to finding the right solution. They are responsive and clear in their advice. You really feel they have considered all of the avenues and their “can do” approach instils confidence.’ – Legal 500 EMEA 2022


Willem Leppink of Ploum is particularly known for his work on anti-counterfeiting and parallel trade matters, as well as advising clients on trade mark and copyright infringement cases. Willem Leppink additionally assists clients with issues around plant variety rights and domain names. One client notes that he provides "excellent hands-on advice" and adds that he is "very practical and solution-orientated." - Chambers Global 2022 


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.


  • Domain Name Disputes: A Practical Guide (in Dutch), BMM Bulletin, July 2022
  • 'Round-up of European enforcement case law 2021' | Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (, May 2022
  • Hennessy: a missed opportunity? About the EEA standards, the right to control and the international parallel trade in practice, Intellectueel Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2022/2
  • European trade mark law: Quo Nunc Vadis? (The Sequel) | Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (, July 2021
  • 'EU enforcement case law round-up CJEU and selected national case law for 2020', Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, June 2021
  • Case note to the Supreme Court’s judgement of January 8, 2021, ECLI:NL:PHR:2020:696 (Infineon / NXP), Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht 2021/25, p. 247 – 256  
  • 'Enforcement case law round-up 2019—CJEU and selected national case law' | Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (, May 2021
  • The use of trade marks by garage owners: creating a link with BMW/Deenik. A Dutch view on European case law and the application thereof in The Netherlands, BMM Bulletin 2/2020, p. 89
  • EPOA / The Flower Farm, case note to the judgement of the Board of Appeal ((Dutch) Advertising Code Committee) regarding the advertising for palm oil free margarine, Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2020/19
  • ‘European trade mark law: Quo Nunc Vadis?’, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, January 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 to the judgement of the Court of Appeal regarding the removal of trade marks, Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht IER 2018/55
  • KNVW/, case note to judgement of the Advertising Code Committee regarding 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
  • European trade mark law, Quo Vadis? | Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (, May 2013
  • Stichting Misrekening/ING, case note to the judgement regarding 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, January 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 to the Supreme Court’s judgement regarding the interpretation of intellectual property rights in a purchase agreement, Ondernemingsrecht 2004, 262\\


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 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]
  • 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.



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.

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