Trade mark law, case II GSK 13/07

July 19th, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish entrepreneur Wierzbicki Jan, Krzywdziński Andrzej Przedsiębiorstwo Produkcyjno Handlowo Usługowe MACRO applied to the Polish Patent Office for the right of protection for the trade mark ŚWIAT KAWY I HERBATY (TEA AND COFFE WORLD) Z-205579, for goods in Classes 30, 42. Dariusz Z. who conducts its business under the company name “Świat Kawy i Herbaty”, and who had established contractual relationships with the applicant, submited to the PPO his observations as to the existence of grounds that may cause a right of protection to be denied. The PPO refused to grant the right of protection for the trade mark “ŚWIAT KAWY I HERBATY”. MACRO filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 27 July 2006 case file VI SA/Wa 871/06 upheld the contested decision and MACRO filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 24 May 2007 case file II GSK 13/07 held that the company name (firm) of a individual person is its personal right/interest and it may be an obstacle to registration of a trade mark. According to the SAC, the sale of goods on the stand/trading post under the trade name identical to that trade mark cannot be treated as a trade mark use since the essence of the trade mark is to identify the goods with a particular trader, and the use of the mark should primarily consist of placing a mark on the products or their packaging.