Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1133/10

October 25th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

This is the continuation of a story described in “Trade mark law, case II GSK 496/09“. The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 4 August 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 1133/10 anulled the PPO’s decision and ruled it unenforceable. The Court held that the Polish Patent Office, while assessing the similarity of the opposing signs, ignored in general the question of the impact of a trade mark on recipient/consumers/buyers of the goods bearing the sign, and therefore it did not considered in a comprehensive way the impact of the entire mark, focusing only on one of its verbal elements – PREMIUM word, without attempting to explain the “impact strength (distinguishing ability)” of PREMIUM word as an informational sign that is used to designate the exceptional quality of a product.


In the opinion of the courts, this issue is very important, because while examining the compared signs, the impact of the opposing character – its distinctive ability may not be indifferent, and a “weak” sign must often tolerate the coexistence of the close signs. See U. Promińska, Ustawa o znakach towarowych. Komentarz, Wydawnictwo Prawnicze PWN, Warszawa 1998, p. 42.