Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1626/05

June 8th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

Toyota Corp. filed a notice of opposition to a final decision of the Polish Patent Office on the grant of the right of protection for lexus R-140774 trade mark that was registered for Lubuska Wytwórnia Wódek Gatunkowych “POLMOS” w Zielonej Górze for goods in Class 33 such as alcohols. Toyota argued that this registration was made in bad faith as parasitic use of the reputation of its renown trademarks. The PPO dismissed the opposition and Toyota filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 13 March 2006 case file VI SA/Wa 1626/05 overturned the questioned decision and held it unenforceable. The VAC ruled that the reputation of a trade mark means nothing more than its attractive strength, the value of advertising and generally positive perceptions of consumers. The protection of reputed trade marks may occur outside the similarity of the goods. Furthermore, as it was noted in the judgment of the Voivodeship Administrative Court of 8 November 2005, case file VI SA/Wa 845/05, the reputation of a trade mark is not dependent on the borders of countries or regions.