Archive for: Art. 153 PBAC

Polish patent attorneys, case II GSK 833/10

January 20th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 1 September 2011 case file II GSK 833/10 decided the cassation appeal that was filed by the National Council of Patent Attorneys in the case of the candidate for the patent attorney traineeship. The candiate did not agree with grades that she received during the entry exam. The SAC held that the cassation complaint was unjustified because of the lack of clarity in the rules of operation of the examination committee could cause significant differences in the assessments and grades that were issued by individual members of the committee. Grades that were issued for the same answer for the same question were so significantly different (4 and 10, 3 and 10) that it could indicate only that not all members of the committee acted in accordance with objective, reliable rules. The Supreme Administrative Court held that the Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 11 February 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 1713/09 correctly annulled the resolution of the National Council of Patent Attorneys, because the Council did not use clear criteria for assessing candidates for the patent attorney traineeship, thus giving rise to the recognition by the VAC that such resolution violated the requirements for reasons and justification of the administrative decision. The SAC held that the sufficient guarantee of proper operation of the committee would be, apart from the personal reliability of its members, formulation and disclosure of clear criteria for evaluation in all fields of the exam.

Procedural law, case II FSK 153/09

June 11th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 21 May 2010 case file II FSK 153/09 held that the allegations made in the cassation complaint are key issues for identyfing the boundaries of a given case. The Supreme Administrative Court shall decide the case within the scope of a cassation complaint, examining ex officio only the invalidity of the proceedings. The legitimacy of cassation complaint shifts from the legitimacy of allegations that were raised in it, which should be demonstrated by appropriate justification. The exclusion by the Voivodeship Administrative Court of binding interpretation of law in a given case, that is based on article 153 of the PBAC, is a violation of law, in particular the democratic rule of law provided in article 2 of the Polish Constitution.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 896/08

May 31st, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 28 April 2009 case file II GSK 896/08 held that the question of similarity or dissimilarity of trade marks does not belong to the realm of substantive law, but is decided based on the regulations on administrative proceedings, because it involves questions of the facts, not law. From the viewpoint of the risk misleading the customer to confusion as to the origin of the goods, in principle, the whole sign, not its individual elements are examined.


The Court ruled that during the proceedings in this case the company was trying to protect its trade mark “VANILA FASHION Izabella Kowalska” R-164202 based on the provision of Article 132(2)(ii) and not Article 132(2)(iii) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2001 No 49, item 508, consolidated text of 13 June 2003, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 119, item 1117, with subsequent amendments.

2. A right of protection for a trademark shall not be granted, if the trademark:
(ii) is identical or similar to a trademark for which a right of protection was granted or which has been applied for protection with an earlier priority date (provided that the latter is subsequently granted a right of protection) on behalf of another party for identical or similar goods, if a risk of misleading the public exists, in particular by evoking associations with the earlier mark,
(iii) is identical or similar to a renown trademark registered or applied for registration with an earlier priority (provided that the latter is subsequently registered) on behalf of another party for any kind of goods, if it without due cause would bring unfair advantage to the applicant or be detrimental to the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trademark. The above provision shall apply to well-known trademarks accordingly.

The Court noted that the protection afforded to in Article 132(2)(ii) of the IPL is weaker in comparison to a renown mark.