Unfair competition, case II CR 367/87

January 3rd, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

The French company Interagra, seated in Paris, demanded the cease of use of the same name by an international enterprise established in Poznań by a Dutch citizen. The company was registered in 1983 in the Register of International Companies in Poznań by Barthold Asauerus van Doom, and operated on the whole Polish market. This company has also registered Interagra trade marks R-61166 and R-61280. However, long before these events, the company Interagra SA started its operation in France. Both companies operated in the field of agricultural products and food. The company Interagra from Poznań knew about the existence of the French one, because Interagra SA had established commercial links with Polish foreign trade centrals (entities that were allowed to cooperate with foreign businesses during the communism era in Poland).

The Supreme Court in its judgment of 14 June 1988 case file II CR 367/87 held that in case of marking/designating of the undertaking in a way which may mislead customers in relation to its identity, any act that infringes or violates the rules of fair competition exhausts the conditions set out in Article 2 of the Act of 1926 on combating unfair competition, which is also valid for the provision of the 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 subsequent amendments.