Archive for: Art. 97 §1 APC

Trade mark law, case II GSK 487/12

June 27th, 2013, Tomasz Rychlicki

On May 2006, the Polish Patent Office granted the joint right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark SILMENT R-175055 for three Polish entrepreneurs – Stanisław Wilk, Jan Kosmala and Marek Siemiński. Mr Wilk requested the PPO for a change in the trade mark register. According to the donation agreement of January 2010, he has transferred to his son 1.65% of 33% of his share in the right to the trade mark. On June 2010, the PPO entered the name of his son and deleted Stanisław Wilk, however, after the request for re-examination, the PPO made another changes in the column A of the trade mark register, and entered both father and son as co-owners. Mr Kosmala filed a comaplaint against this decision. He argued that the supplied evidence did not allow for making such amendments. Mr Kosmala did not agree that a part of 33% share could be transferred to another person, because according the agreement of 2004 on the joint ownership, that was signed between Kosmala, Siemiński and Wilk senior, any joint owner could make a donation of the joint right to the right of protection for a trade mark SILMENT R-175055 only to the spouse and descendants of the first group of inheritance.


The Voivideship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 25 October 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 1409/11 noted that between co-owners to the trade mark SILMENT arose a dispute over the interpretation of the agreement. The Court ruled that, in principle, the right of protection for a trademark may be assigned or be subject to succession. The transfer of the right of protection may be effected only with the consent of the parties who enjoy that right. The agreement of assignment of a share in the joint right of protection should be only valid subject to the consent given by all of the joint owners. When examining the request for the change in the trade mark register, the PPO should investigate whether the submitted documents, supposed to provide grounds for taking a decision on entry in a register, are in accordance with this Polish Industrial Property Law and satisfy the effective provisions as to form. The entries should not be binding on an authority whose responsibilities, under the provisions of law, include deciding on a document founding the decision on entry in a register or in a case, the outcome of which may affect a decision of the Polish Patent Office on entry in the register. The “registry-entry” proceedings are designed to adjust the content of an entry with the current legal status, and a decision on the entry into the trade mark register has only a declaratory nature and it not a source of trade mark rights. Therefore, the cognition of the Polish Patent Office in matters of entries in the registry, is strictly defined. This means that while investigating the request for a change, the PPO cannot exceed those limits. As a result, the PPO cannot investigate the regularity of both the preparation of the documents submitted as a basis for entry in the registry, as well as make their interpretation. As there is dispute between the parties over the interpretation of the agreement, the PPO cannot agree to the interpretation of one of the parties. These doubts have to be resolved by a civil court. And if such dispute has not been initiated by a party, the PPO should stay proceedings and call the party to apply to the competent court, within the prescribed time, to provide a preliminary decision on the issue which is a condition of the settlement in the main case. Therefore,the Court annulled the contested decision, ruled it unenforceable, and ordered the PPO to consider the Court’s arguments during re-examination of the case.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 20 June 2013 case file II GSK 487/12 dismissed the cassation complaint. The SAC held that the controversy concerning the effects of the donation agreement in the light of the content of the co-ownership of a trade mark rights, has to be resolved by a proper civil court.

Trade mar law, case VI SA/Wa 2180/09

July 31st, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 28 July 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 2180/09 held that since the decision on the establishment who owns copyright to the questioned trade mark that should be issued by a civil court, was not taken, because of the failure to act of a party, the PPO correctly decided that the reasons for the stay of the invalidation proceedings indicated in the order, no longer holds. This case concerned the trade mark panorama pogody R-145414 owned by Eniro Polska Spółka z o.o. from Warsaw.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2178/09

July 27th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

A Polish entrepreneur requested the Polish Patent Office for the invalidation of the word trade mark “panorama religii” R-145419, claiming the it owns copyright to the aforementioned sign. The PPO decided to stay the proceedings and ordered the applicant within two months from the date of receipt of the order to file a suit to the civil court with regard to establishement of copyrights to the disputed trade mark. The applicant was also ordered to provide the PPO with certified copies of the suit within two months from the date of receipt of the order. The applicant did not file such a suit and stated that he will not take those steps. After filing another motions this case went to the administrative court.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 28 July 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 2178/09 held that whether there was an infringement of civil jurisdiction, in this regard, the matter will be subject to review by the Court on the complaint against the merits of the PPO’s decision.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1180/07

December 13th, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 5 November 2007 case file VI SA/Wa 1180/07 decided the case for the invalidation of the right of protection for the trade mark PANORAMA TURYSTYKI R-145420. The issue of the discontinuance of the proceedings appeared during the hearing before the Polish Patent Office. The PPO decided to stay the proceedings until the civil court decide on the authorship of the trade mark. One of the parties filed a complaint against this decision. The Court ruled that the decision on the matter of who has the copyright to the sign in question is a preliminary issue within the meaning of Article 97 § 1 pt 4 of the Administrative Proceedings Code – APC – (in Polish: Kodeks postępowania administracyjnego) of 14 June 1960, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 30, item 168, consolidated text of 9 October 2000, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 98, item 1071 with subsequent amendments.

Article 97. Compulsory stay
§ 1. A public administration authority shall order a stay of the proceedings:
1) in case of the death of one of the parties if it is impossible to summon heirs of the deceased party to participate in the proceedings, and if no circumstances described in Article 30.5 occurred, and if the proceedings may not be discontinued as groundless (Article 105),
2) in case of death of the statutory representative of a party,
3) in case a party or his statutory representative loses the capacity to enter into legal transaction,
4) if deciding the matter and issuance of the decision is conditioned upon a previous resolution of a preliminary issue by another authority or court.

§ 2. If the grounds for stay have ceased to exist, the public administration authority shall ex officioor upon demand of a party lift the stay of the proceedings.

The Court held that the PPO was allowed to summon the party to apply for the civil proceedings and to order a stay of proceedings in one order. Such order is not subject to the appeal. It can be only challenged in the complaint against the decision that also contains the conclusions of preliminary issue.