Region: Poland

Unilever’s 3D mark invalidated on grounds of non-use

The Adjudicative Board of the Polish Patent Office has held that Unilever’s rights in a 3D mark consisting of the shape of its Domestos bottle had lapsed on the grounds that the mark had not been used in the form in which it was registered. The Patent Office found that the form of the mark that was actually in use was the subject of a separate registration.

08 March 2011

Supreme Administrative Court favours Croatian company in spicy dispute

The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that Polish company Japart could not obtain protection for the mark MASTER COOK, thereby ending the lengthy trade dress and unfair competition dispute between Japart and Croatian company Podravka, which produces the well-known spice mix Vegeta.

12 January 2011

Dissimilar marks cannot lead to a risk of association

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw has dismissed a complaint filed by Italian fashion house Guccio Gucci SpA, holding that the mark GUCIO for children's shoes was dissimilar to the earlier mark GUCCI. The court pointed out that, if the marks at issue are not similar, there is no need to consider whether the owner of the later mark intended to derive benefits from the earlier mark's reputation.

02 December 2010

Single colours cannot be monopolised by one company

In a case involving British Petroleum plc's green and yellow colour combination mark, the Supreme Court has held that, although a combination of colours may serve as a trademark, the owner of such a mark cannot prohibit another company from using one of the colours. The court highlighted that a single colour cannot be protected as a trademark.

10 November 2010

Court considers whether geographical name can function as mark for wine

In a case involving an application for the registration of the mark VARNA, the Supreme Administrative Court has sent the case back to the District Administrative Court for re-examination. The Supreme Administrative Court found that the lower court should have assessed whether the VARNA mark, due to its unusual spelling, had distinctive character.

28 October 2010

Supreme Administrative Court considers issue of opponent's legal interest

The Supreme Administrative Court has held that, under Article 246 of the Law on Industrial Property, an opponent is not required to provide evidence of its legal interest, both at the time of filing the opposition and during opposition proceedings before the Polish Patent Office, even if the rights holder considers the opposition to be groundless.

29 July 2010

Trade dress case dismissed for failure to comply with statute of limitations

The Warsaw Court of Appeal has dismissed an action for unfair competition filed by Croatian company Podravka and its Polish subsidiary Podravka Polska against Hungarian company Marina Maziarny, which sells a product equivalent to Podravka’s Vegeta spice mix. The court found that Podravka Polska had failed to bring an infringement action in a timely manner in order to enforce its trade dress rights.

02 June 2010

Dishonest conduct does not necessarily indicate bad faith at time of application

The Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed a cassation appeal filed by well-known fashion company Kenzo Société Anonyme. Kenzo had sought a declaration of invalidity of the mark EAU DE TOKYO on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to its trademarks TOKYO BY KENZO and L'EAU PAR KENZO.

04 May 2010

Numeral mark held to lack distinctive character

The Warsaw District Administrative Court has affirmed a decision of the Polish Patent Office in which the latter had cancelled the registration for the trademark 80 for “periodicals containing crossword puzzles; crosswords”. The court agreed with the office that the mark would be perceived by the relevant consumers as an indication of the number of crossword puzzles or crosswords contained in a periodical.

11 February 2010

Trademarks cannot include the European flag, says Patent Office

The Cancellation Board of the Polish Patent Office has held that a figurative trademark consisting of the words 'Batczew Komperda' on a blue background surrounded by yellow stars was invalid on the grounds that it imitated the European flag. The board held that the European flag cannot be used in a trademark, even if the mark contains additional elements.

27 April 2009

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