Trade mark law, case II GSK 555/09

May 17th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

This is the continuation of the story described in “Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2376/08“. The Free Trade Union of Drivers of the Republic of Poland (FTUD) and its representative disagreed with the decisions of the Polish Patent Office and the Voivodeship Administrative Court, and filed a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court. The FTUD claimed that the drawing of an eagle included in its sign differs from the National emblem, because it has different colors and is on a different background. The Union also argued that the sign emphasizes its national identity, and not link with the state bodies. According to the Union, the PPO already registered many characters that consist of national symbols that were artistically altered. The refusal of registration of the questioned sign limits the competition argued the Union.

The Supreme Administrative Court in a judgment of 21 April 2010, case file II GSK 555/09, dismissed the cassation appeal. According to the SAC the provisions of the IPL and the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland should be read together. Neither the emblem or image of the Eagle established as the emblem and symbols of the Republic of Poland shall not be subject to protection rights. This applies also to similar signs – said Judge Małgorzata Korycińska. The judgement is final.