Trade mark law, case XXII GWzt 17/09

June 28th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

Leszek Dudarski sued PRO-MED POLSKA Daniel Celej for the infringement of the CTM KLIMUSZKO no. 003533692. Mr Dudarski is a licensee of this trade mark. The CTM is the surname of Father Czesław Andrzej Klimuszko, the famous priest and herbalist. The right to use the word trade mark KLIMUSZKO and recipes belongs to the church order Prowincja Św. Maksymiliana M. Kolbego Zakonu Braci Mniejszych Konwentualnych w Polsce (Franciszkanów). The order acquired this right by way of inheritance.

PRO-MED POLSKA Daniel Celej used signs such as BRACIA KLIMUSZKO SYROP CZARNY BEZ Z ŻURAWINĄ and Bracia Klimuszko on its syrup products and in advertising. PRO-MED argued that its trade marks and labels of syrup packagings are based on the history of monk brothers Jan and Albert Klimuszko. The folklore story abouth these two monks is known in eastern Poland. The identicality of Klimuszko names was unintended and entirely coincidental.

The Court for the Community Trade Marks and Community Designs (in Polish: Sąd Okręgowy w Warszawie Wydział XXII Sąd Wspólnotowych Znaków Towarowych i Wzorów Przemysłowych) in its judgment of 21 December 2009 case file XXII GWzt 17/09 ruled that the examination of the risk of confusion is the normative issue, and that there exist similarity of signs and goods. The Court prohibited the defendant from the use of the trade mark BRACIA KLIMUSZKO SYROP CZARNY BEZ Z ŻURAWINĄ in the course of trade and in advertising of syrup products.