The Supreme Court in its judgment of 25 January 2006, case file I CK 281/05, published in the Supreme Court’s Bulletin of 2006, No 5, the Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, the Civil Chamber (in Polish: Orzecznictwo Sądu Najwyższego Izba Cywilna) of 2006, No 11, item 186, p. 64, the “Wokanda” magazine of 2006, No 7-8, p. 17, held that the novelty requirement is not the essential feature of the creation process understood as an expression of human intellectual activity. The work within the meaning of article 1 of the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights, can be a compilation that is using publicly available data, provided that the choice of their segregation and the way of presentation indicates originality.
Archive for: March, 2006
Imperial Tobacco requested the Polish Patent Office to invalidate the right of protection for “KIERY A K D mocne” R-131390 registered for GALLAHER POLSKA Sp.z o.o., for goods in Class 34 such as cigarettes.
Imperial Tobacco is the owner of the right of protection for “M mocne” R-68755 trade mark registered for goods in Clss 34 such as cigarettes. The PPO dismissed the request and explained that the Trade Marks Act contains no provisions on the so-called disclamation rule which is based on identifying which elements that are part of a registered trade mark should not be protected and deemed as informational sings/elements. The word “mocne” (in English: “strong”) refers to the characteristics (properties) of cigarettes, which is associated with the fact that strong cigarette contains more tar and nicotine than light cigarette. The M-Mocne brand due to the presence in the market for several decades acquired the status of well-known trade mark among smokers, which according to the assesment of the Polish Patent Office does not change the fact that “mocne” sign is deemed as the informational term. Imperial Tobacco filed a complaint against this decision.
The Voivodeship Administrative court in warsaw in its judgment of 20 January 2005 case file VI SA/Wa 333/04 agreed with the PPO and dismissed the complaint. The VAC held that it is wrong assumption that the use of the registered word-figurative trade mark “M mocne”, resulted in obtaining the status of well-known trade mark of one of its elements, i.e. “mocne” word. Imperial Tobacco filed a cassation complaint.
The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 26 January 2006 case file II GSK 349/05 held that the word “mocne” lacks sufficient distinctiveness. Therefore, the right to use this term (as well as “lekkie”) have all manufacturers of tobacco/cigarettes. This does not affect the personal or property rights, because the word is not property. Moreover, the Court noted the term “mocne” can never acquire distinctive character and all the time should be considered as an informational indication.
The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 24 February 2006 case file VI SA/Wa 1946/05 held that the term mentioned in the provisions of Article 31 of the old Polish Act of 31 January 1985 on Trade Marks – TMA – (in Polish: Ustawa o znakach towarowych), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 5, item 15, with subsequent amendments, is a term of substantive law, and it should not be shortened or extended.
The request for annulment of a right deriving from registration of a trademark may be filed within five years of the date of registration. After the expiry of that period, such request may only be filed in respect of an owner who has obtained registration in bad faith.
The Court also ruled that bad faith mentioned in Article 31 of the TMA, cannot be treated extensively in relation to all grounds for invalidation of the registration, because this would undermine the sense of the institutions of mutability of the registration. The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 5 December 2006 case file II GSK 167/06 dismissed the cassation complaint. This case concerned DELIC-POL R-81280 trade mark.
The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 2 March 2006, case file VI SA/Wa 1705/05 decided on trade dress and 3D trade mark TERRAVITA R-142204. The Court ruled according to Article 30 of the Act on 31 January 1985 on Trade marks (Journal of Laws No 5, item 17 with later amendments), a legal interest to demand the invalidation of a trademark registration is afforded to an entity which derives such right from a competence to fill for trademark registration, use of a trademark or to demand the invalidation of a trademark registration for the sake of the collision with its own rights.
There is a presumption of good faith and bad faith has to be proven. There is an assumption that someone is acting in bad faith if he or she has the awareness of discrepancy of the situation with the law or as a result of his or her negligence in knowledge about the legal situation. In accordance with the well established doctrine, practice and case law, a trade mark according to article 7 and article 9(1) pt 1 and 2 of the TMA, should be examined as a whole. It is not allowed to test only one element of the complex sign, for instance the graphic, without taking into the consideration of the word elements of the sign, or doing it insufficient way. Therefore, if the Polish Patent Office examines individual elements of a sign, it should in next, to put them together and to draw the final conclusions. See also “Trade mark law, case II GSK 247/06“.