Syb Terpstra

Senior Attorney

Syb is a senior associate at bureau Brandeis. He knows everything about intellectual property law and media & entertainment law. Syb is a specialist in the field of trade mark law. He also has extensive experience with copyright, related rights (neighbouring rights) and portrait rights, among other things. Syb has a preference for, and great knowledge of, the music industry.

Expert in IP (trademark law, copyright law) and entertainment

Syb is recognized by various expert guides as a specialist in the field of intellectual property (IP). He is also praised for his special expertise in the entertainment sector.

  • Word Trademark Review 1000 appoints Syb as a trademark expert in 2022. In a testimonial, WTR 1000 writes: “bureau Brandeis breaks into the WTR 1000 this year thanks in no small part to the effusive feedback received for senior associate Syb Terpstra: “He has a very sharp mind, grasps the most complex subjects and goes to great lengths to understand what is best for his clients. Syb is really personable too and easily negotiates favourable settlements; but when it comes down to it, he is a fierce litigator.” Complex disputes are meat and drink to this Amsterdam-based firm – especially at the intersection of IP and entertainment law, where Terpstra has carved out a niche. He represents some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Spinnin’ Records
  • Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars recognizes Syb as an “excellent associate” and as a “rising star” in the field of trade mark and copyright law since 2018.
  • Legal 500 (IP) acknowledged Syb as a “recommended associate” in 2020 and quoted a client: “Syb Terpstra is a very intelligent, young talent with a great future ahead of him. Very smart and sharp and at the same time very approachable in his communication.
  • Legal 500 (IP) additionally quoted various clients on the media & entertainment team of bureau Brandeis in 2021: “They are reliable, committed and extremely professional with a great personal touch”, “Approachable and fast”, “Professional, competent, experts on their legal territories”, “Very to-the-point, up-to-date and easy-going people”, “Open communication with clients, hands-on mentality”, and “It’s a great team to work with as they do understand the legal AND the business part of the problem. Quick responses on requests”.

Experience in complex proceedings

Syb has extensive experience in litigation before the Dutch district courts, courts of appeal, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) and the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad). Syb also litigates before the General Court of the EU (in trade mark cases) and at the highest European court: the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg. Syb furthermore regularly acts in trade mark proceedings before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), including in opposition, cancellation and revocation proceedings. Syb also acted as counsel in various proceedings before the Dutch Media Authority (Commissariaat voor de Media), the Dutch Advertising Code Committee (RCC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP).

Characteristics and qualities

Syb is an excellent litigator, but also an inspiring advisor and smart negotiator. For his clients, Syb is a true trusted advisor. He has a hands-on mentality and thinks mainly in practical and pragmatic solutions.

Before joining bureau Brandeis, Syb worked as an attorney at law at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for 5 years. His extensive experience as a producer and (semi-professional) musician (DJ and guitarist in various bands) come in handy when assisting clients in the media and entertainment industry.

Recent work

In the field of IP (mainly trade mark law and copyright law):

  • Representing Smilde in a landmark case before the European Court of Justice on whether the taste of a food product could be protected by copyright;
  • Representing a world-famous clothing brand from the United States in trade mark proceedings before the General Court of the EU;
  • Representing the Netherlands’ most well-known shopping mall Hoog Catharijne before the EUIPO and the District Court of Haarlem in various trade mark proceedings;
  • Representing (film) production company Submarine before the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO in trade mark opposition proceedings;
  • Assisting various parties, including well-known international artists, in proceedings concerning their trade mark rights and other IP rights before the Dutch courts, the BOIP, the EUIPO and various national trade mark offices worldwide.

In the field of media & entertainment:

  • Representing Spinnin’ Records and MusicAllStars in appeal and cassation proceedings against Martin Garrix;
  • Assisting various internationally renowned DJ’s and producers in both contractual and IP disputes;
  • Advising artists and labels in selling their music rights / rights catalogues to investors;
  • Advising both athletes and sponsors in negotiations on sponsorship contracts;
  • Representing a television presenter in a dispute with a television production company and the Dutch Media Authority;
  • Advising music labels, publishers, artists and artist managers on, among other things, record-, management-, booking- and music publishing agreements.

Professional activities

Syb is regularly asked to speak on the topic of IP rights. For instance, he recently gave a course on (music) copyright contract law to specialized lawyers and judges during a Leiden Law Lunch. He also recently spoke at a study meeting of the Dutch Association for Copyright about related rights (neighbouring rights) and the consequences of European case law for the daily practice. At the end of 2021, Syb was interviewed by The Times Radio about the question why so many artists sell their rights these days (following the sale of Bruce Springsteen’s music rights for USD 500 million).

Syb frequently publishes on his expertise, including in the professional journals Berichten Industriële Eigendom (Journal on Industrial Property) and Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht (Journal on Intellectual Property & Advertising Law). He is also an active member of the AIPPI / BMM / IAEL / VIEPA / VvA. As chairman of the AIPPI Young Members Committee, Syb organises meetings for ‘young’ IP enthusiasts. In 2020, Syb successfully completed the post-academic IP and procedural law specialisation course at the SK Martens academy.


Journal Syb

James Bond music theme a valid EU trademark?

Syb Terpstra / 28 Jan 2022

The music theme of the James Bond movies; who doesn’t know it. In particular, the mysterious guitar riff will sound familiar to most people. The composition, as well as several specific recordings of it, are…

Famous faces: the portrait as a trademark

Syb Terpstra / 16 Aug 2021

In May, the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO decided that the portrait photographs of two Dutch models, Yasmin Wijnaldum and Rozanne Verduin, can be registered as an EU trademark for services of (photo)models and…