Trade mark law, VI SA/Wa 1100/07

December 21st, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 18 December 2007 case file VI SA/Wa 1100/07 dismissed McDonald’s Corporation complaint against the Polish Patent Office’s decision and ruled that a Singapore company was allowed to register MacCoffee mark for coffee products. McDonald’s will not be allowed to “monopolize” the Mc-prefix. This judgment should make all trade mark practitioners aware of differences between legal systems. Especially when this Polish case is compared to holding in the case Quality Inns Int’l v McDonald’s Corp., 695 F. Supp. 198 (D. Md. 1988). The Court ruled that Quality International’s use of the name “McSleep” infringed McDonald’s family of marks that are characterized by the use of the prefix “Mc” combined with a generic word.