Trade mark law, case II GSK 91/10

April 5th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish company Biuro Miss Polonia Sp. z o.o. filed a request for invalidation of the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark “MISS POLONIA WORLD” R-152218 owned by MISS POLONIA A. Aldona Von Laübe from New Britain, USA. Biuro Miss Polonia argued that the registration infringes on its personal interests (company name) and the Polish company operates on the marker since a long time as the organizer of the annual, national beauty pageant. The Polish Patent Office invalidated the right in question. Aldona Von Laübe filed a complaint against this decision but it was dismissed by the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 17 July 2009 case file VI SA/Wa 337/09. The American company filed a cassation complaint.


The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 8 February 2011 case file II GSK 91/10 dismissed it. The SAC ruled that there were no rational arguments that in case of existence of a trade mark similar to the company name, the infringement of personal interests and the rights to company name could take place only in cases when the entire trade mark consist of the company name. The promotion and marketing of goods bearing trade marks that are confusingly similar to the company name is also deemed as the threat to personal interests or property rights. The fact that the questioned trade mark in addition to the words “Miss” and “Polonia” (that were concurrent with the partial company name of the applicant) contained the word “World” did not deprive the applicant of the protection of the company name as a personal interests, because the designation “Miss Polonia” had sufficient distinctive characteristics that would allow for the identification of an applicant and help to distinguish it from other entities.