Archive for: Art. 131(3) IPL

Trade mark law, case II GSK 1261/10

April 9th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish Patent Office in its decision of 29 January 2010 case no. DT-581/08 refused to grant the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark FILIPETTI MONTENERO SPUMANTE DEMI SEC DALLA TRADIZIONE ITALIANA Z-298140 that was applied for by Domain Menada Sp. z o.o. for goods in Class 33. The PPO decided that this trade mark is similar to the word trade marks FILIPETTI R-101614 and R-140718 owned by Belvedere S.A. Domain Menada argued that it is a part of the Belvedere Group, and provided a letter of consent. Domain Menada filed a complaint against this decision but the Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of of 21 June 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 710/10 dismissed it. See “Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 710/10“. Domain Menada filed a cassation complaint.

Z-298140

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 8 December 2011 case file II GSK 1261/10 ruled that the letter of consent was not binding and the PPO examined its effects in different aspects, based on gathered evidence, and it found that the letter of consent is not an exemption to grounds for refusing trade mark protection. The SAC stressed that the system of registration of trade marks under the Polish Industrial Property Law is to guarantee the protection of the interests of businesses and consumers. Under the present regulations, the Polish Patent Office may refuse to register a trade mark, despite the agreement between the professional entities that are active in business, due to the risk of misleading and confusion of consumers as to the origin of the goods from a particular entrepreneur. In this sense, the mere will of particular businesses does not directly create and shape the public policy. The PPO is a public authority that takes a decision on the registration of a trade mark, taking into account ex officio circumstances specified in the IPL. The PPO is therefore bound by the provisions of generally applicable laws, and these – as it was indicated above – protect the position and the consumer’s interest.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 711/10

September 20th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish Patent Office refused to grant the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark PRODUCT OF ITALY FILIPETTI Casa Fondata nel 1922 VERMOUTH EXTRA DRY Ricetta Originale Filipetti Prodotto seguendo la tradizionale ricetta della Casa Filipetti Z-298152 that was applied for by Domain Menada Sp. z o.o. for goods in Class 33. The PPO decided that this trade mark is similar to the word trade marks FILIPETTI R-101614 and R-140718 owned by Belvedere S.A. Domain Menada argued that it is a part of the Belvedere Group, and provided a letter of consent. The Company filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 21 June 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 711/10 dismissed it. The Court held that in any case, the mere existence of links (relationships) between entrepreneurs belonging to the same capital group cannot be regarded as a guarantee of quality of product bearing the disputed trade mark.

Z-298152

It should be noted that the capital group is a specific form of business, where corporate governance is exercised at several levels – both across the group and in individual companies. The mere membership in a capital group cannot be used as an argument that the signs from affiliated companies will not mislead consumers. Domain Menada filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 8 December 2011 case file II GSK 1245/10 dismissed it. The SAC held that the letter of consent was not binding and the PPO examined its effects in different aspects, based on gathered evidence, and it found that the letter of consent is not an exemption to grounds for refusing trade mark protection

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 710/10

August 30th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 25 July 2005, DOMAIN MENADA Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw applied for the right of protection for FILIPETTI MONTENERO SPUMANTE DEMI SEC dalla tradizione italiana trade mark in class 33. The Polish Patent Office informed DOMAIN MENADA that there exist earlier trade marks owned by Belvedere S.A. and refused to grant the right of protection for the applied sign. DOMAIN MENADA filed a complaint in which the company argued that it is a member of Belvedere Group and provided a proper letter of consent.

Z-298140

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 21 June 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 710/10 held that in any case, the mere existence of links (relationships) between entities belonging to the same capital group cannot be regarded as a guarantee of quality of product bearing the disputed trademark. It should be noted that the capital group is a specific form of business, where corporate governance is exercised at several levels – both across the group and in individual companies. The mere membership in a capital group cannot be used as an argument that the signs from affiliated companies will not mislead consumers.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 185/08

June 23rd, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

Przedsiebiorstwo Przemyslu Spirytusowego Polmos in Warszawa objected to the trade mark application for SPIRYTUS REKTYFIKOWANY PL 1784, R-134685, filed by POLMOS LANCUT SA. Polmos in Warszawa claimed priority of an earlier trade mark – SPIRYTUS REKTYFIKOWANY, R-63628.

R-63628

SPIRYTUS REKTYFIKOWANY was bought by Polmos in Warsaw during an auction held by the Polish Ministry of the Treasury. All Polmos companies agreed in 1999 that they would not use trade marks owned by others in the Polmos “group”.

The Polish Patent Office (the PPO) decided that the contested mark had no distinctive character and it only indicated a specific kind of alcohol and method of production. Przedsiebiorstwo Przemyslu Spirytusowego Polmos in Warszawa lodged a complaint before the District Administrative Court in Warsaw seeking to annul the PPO’s decision. However, the Court sided with the PPO’s findings and rejected the complaint. The Court held that both signs were word-figurative marks and should be perceived and examined as whole.

R-134685

Polmos in Warszawa filed a cassation complaint before the Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw. It supported its position with an argument that SPIRYTUS REKTYFIKOWANY acquired secondary meaning and had a good reputation bacause of the use during the course of trade. The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 18 June 2008, case file II GSK 185/08 did not agree with such statements and rejected the complaint. The Court found that Polmos in Warszawa was seeking exclusive rights in the spirytus rektyfikowany sign, which was a purely informative term to be found in Polish dictionaries and official norms.

This case is the leading example of problems with trade mark portfolios of companies that were privatized in Poland after 1990. Polmos was state-owned monopoly, controlling the Polish market of spirits and other alcohols from middle ’20s until 1990, when it was divided and privatized into several independent companies.