Personal interests, case I ACa 560/04

February 10th, 2005, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Appellate Court in Katowice in its judgment of 4 November 2004 case file I ACa 560/04 ruled that the company, which in this case was understood as the company name (firm), is often intellectual interest/asset of significant value, which according to the will of the legislature is protected by the law. This is an absolute subjective right which is effective erga omnes, and it’s personal interest/right that is associated with an entrepreneur. The broadest spectrum protection that may be enforced not only in commerce but also may be brought against anyone who is in breach of the interest of entrepreneurs, is provided in Articles 23 and 24 of the Civil Code – CC – (in Polish: Kodeks Cywilny) of 23 April 1964, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 16, item 93, with subsequent amendments.

Article 23
The personal interests/rights of a human being, in particular to health, dignity, freedom, freedom of conscience, surname or pseudonym, image, secrecy of correspondence, inviolability of home, and scientific, artistic, inventor’s and rationalizing achievements, shall be protected by civil law independent of protection envisaged in other provisions.

Article 24
§ 1 The person whose personal rights are threatened by someone else’s action, may require the desist of that action, unless it is not illegal. In the event of the infringement one may also require, the person who committed the violation, to fulfill the actions necessary to remove its effects, in particular, to make a statement of the relevant content and appropriate format. According to the conditions laid down in the Code one may also require monetary compensation or payment of an appropriate amount of money for a social purpose indicated.

§ 2 If as the result of a breach of personal rights one has suffered pecuniary prejudice, the aggrieved person may claim compensation based on general principles.

§ 3 The above shall not prejudice the entitlements provided by other regulations, in particular in copyright law and the patent (invention) law.

The Court also ruled that if a press title is encroaching a realm of personal property, and if such action violates or threatens the interests of another entrepreneur, the sufferer may exercise his power by seeking civil protection through civil process. There must exist the real apprehensive of an infringements and valid registration for the press title for the effectiveness of such a claim.