Unfair competition, case II CKN 70/96

January 20th, 2006, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Court Civil Chamber in a judgment of 7 March 1997, case file II CKN 70/96, gave the interpretation on the priority of use of the designation of the undertaking as defined in article 5 of the Polish Act of 16 April 1993 on Combating Unfair Competition – CUC – (in Polish: ustawa o zwalczaniu nieuczciwej konkurencji), Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 47, item 211, with later amendments.

Article 5.
The designation of the undertaking in a way which may mislead customers in relation to its identity, due to the use of trade mark, name, emblem, letter abbreviation or another characteristic symbol already lawfully used to indicate another undertaking, shall be the act of unfair competition.

The Court ruled that the priority of use – in accordance with the law – the name of the undertaking, is the only criterion for resolving conflicts between the designations, on the basis of the provisions of article 5 of the CUC.