Trade mark law, cases Sp. 428/07 and Sp. 442 /07

September 6th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports recent cases (act signatures Sp. 428/07 and Sp. 442 /07) brought before the Polish Patent Office by German company Klöckner Moeller GmbH, which opposed the registration of the PowerControl trade mark by the Lestar Company from Opacz. Both parties are involved into a dispute as to whether the PowerControl mark is a sign of fanciful character and whether it has sufficient ability to distinguish the goods of one undertaking from the another.

The Polish company from Opacz applied for a trade mark registration for PowerControl in 2001, in class 9 (cables and electrical wires, electrical controls of light, signals and switching and in class 35 (sale of various goods in a shop with wiring articles). The PPO has issued a favourable decision and registered this trade mark in 2006, R-174685.


The patent attorney who is representing the company from Germany declared that one can not claim such simple words (power and control) as a trade mark, it gives the owner a monopoly on the use. The sign creates a cluster of words whose meaning is known in Poland. There are thus distinctive capabilities which are required for a brand. And it must identify the goods of an entrepreneur. But the Polish company argued that a sign which is composed of foreign words can be considered fanciful in Poland. Therefore PowerControl is able to distinguish goods, especially technical equipment.

The Polish Patent Office has not yet resolved the dispute.