Trade mark law, case Sp. 27/06

January 19th, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 9 February 2000, the Polish Patent Office granted the right of protection for the word trade mark PICKENPACK R-118206 applied for on 27 September 1996, the Polish entrepreneur Katarzyna Warzocha from Koniecpol, for goods in classes 29 and 30 such as frozen meat products, fish, poultry and game, frozen fruits and vegetables and frozen flour products.


German company Pickenpack-Hussmann & Hahn Seafood GmbH from Lüneburg owned an international registration for the word-figurative trade mark PICKEN PACK IR-520553 in class 29 for goods such as meat, fish, poultry and game as well as cooked fruit and vegetables, cooked take-away dishes mainly consisting of meat, fish, potatoes and/or other vegetables; all these goods are deep frozen. The registration was granted in the Republic of Poland on October 2008. German company filed before the Polish Patent Office a request to declare the lapse of trade mark protection based on provision of article 169(1)(i) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2001 No 49, item 508, consolidated text of 13 June 2003, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 119, item 1117, with subsequent amendments.

1. The right of protection for a trademark shall also lapse:
(i) on failure to put to genuine use of the registered trade mark for the goods covered by the registration for a period of five successive years after a decision on the grant of a right of protection has been taken, unless serious reasons for its non-use exist,

Katarzyna Warzocha argued that she started to use the contested trade mark in the previous two years during talks with contractors interested in her offer. She provided information that the PICKENPACK trade mark had been used for frozen products, advertising flyers, business cards and offers of cooperation. Katarzyna Warzocha claimed that the goods labelled with this trade mark were present at the Polagra fair in the years 2001-2005. She also declared that she was able to provide statements of companies, which took supplies of frozen products poduced by her company. German company argued that this was not real evidence of actual use. On 6 November 2008, the PPO postponed the hearing in this case act signature Sp. 27/06 to supplement the evidence.