Trade mark law, case II GSK 623/12

August 25th, 2013, Tomasz Rychlicki

On February 2009, the Polish company MIS S.A. applied to the Polish Patent Office for the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark mis Polecany Lider Innowacyjności Z-351511 for goods in Class 9. The PPO refused, becuase it found similarity with the CTM MIS no. 002167674, registered with the earlier priority for goods in Class 9 and 42 and owned by MIS GmbH. MIS S.A. requested for the re-examination of the matter. The Company argued that the abbreviation MIS stands for management information systems and it lacks distinctiveness, because this term is functioning for many years in the textbooks of economics, management and information technology. The company indicated also that the proprietor of the earlier Community trade mark does not use it in business and is not interested in renewal of the protection of its trade mark, because, for several years, the successor of the German company did not file a formal request to transfer the exclusive rights to the new owner. The PPO refused to grant the right of protection, and MIS S.A. filed a complaint against this decision.


The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 29 september 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 1257/11 dismissed it. The Court agreed that there exists similarity of signs and goods and services. Moreover, the Court stated that along with granting the right of protection for a trade mark, the exclusive subjective right is also created, this right is effective erga omnes – against all. So it’s important to separate ranges indicated in exclusive spheres of rights, and strive to avoid a situation where this could lead to overlapping powers. The property right to the trade mark is a transferable right, therefore, the sphere of exclusivity incorporated in the sign cannot be related to the business profile of the entrepreneur, because it involves the variability of the indicated areas of exclusivity and it is impossible to determine it in the course of trade, as well as in the examination proceedings conducted before the Polish Patent Office.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 13 August 2013 case file II GSK 623/12 dismissed the cassation complaint filed by MIS S.A.