Archive for: absolute grounds for refusal

Trade mark law, case Sp. 468/11

May 17th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 26 October 2009, the Polish Patent Office registered the figurative trade mark R-221206 for goods in Classes 16, 35 and 44. This sign was applied for Fundacja na Rzecz Osób Niewidomych i Niepełnosprawnych “POMÓŻ I TY” z Gdyni (the Foundation for the Benefit of the Blind of Disabled People “YOU CAN HELP TOO”).

R-221206

European Union represented by the Commission filed a notice of opposition to the decision of the Patent Office on the grant of a right of protection, claiming that the trade mark incorporated symbols of the EU flag. The Adjudicative Board of the PPO in its decision of 11 May 2012 case no. Sp. 468/11 dismissed the request anddecided that the questioned trade mark is quite distinct from the heraldic of the EU flag, with no resemblance to it.

This decision is not final yet. The EU may file a complaint to the Voivodeship Administrative Court. See also “Trade mark law, case Sp. 158/08” and “Trade mark law, case II GSK 555/09“.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 332/11

March 28th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 20 August 2007, the Polish company ALTA Sp. z o.o. from Poznań applied for the figurative trade mark Z-329092 for goods in Class 5, 42 and 44. The Board of the Red Cros submited to the Polish Patent Office observations as to the existence of grounds that cause a right of protection to be denied. On September 2009, the PPO refused to grant the right. ALTA filed a complaint against this decision.

Z-329092

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 12 October 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 1095/10 noted that Article 131(2)(iii) of the Polish Industrial Property Law provides that the right of protection shall not be granted for a sign, if it incorporates the abbreviated names or symbols (armorial bearings, flags, emblems) of other countries, international organisations, as well as official signs, hallmarks indicating control and warranty adopted in other countries, if the prohibition of registration follows from international agreements, unless the applicant is able to produce an authorisation issued by a competent authority, which authorises him to use such signs in the course of trade. The Court ruled that this prohibition applies not only to those symbols as such, but it also prohibits the registration and use of the trade marks that are some kind of imitation of those symbols and copying the relevant characteristics of the heraldic symbols is this kind of imitation. The PPO rightly found that the trade mark in question contains the image of the cross which is at least an imitation of the symbol of the International Red Cross because of similar color (red) and shape. Placing the image of a bear on the cross does not change the fact that this trade mark contains also an image of the cross imitating the Red Cross sign. The provision of Article 131(2)(iii) of the IPL excludes the possibility of granting trade mark rights to the signs that contain symbols of international organizations (if there is no consent of the holder), so other elements of the mark does not matter. Thus placing in the applied sign the image of a cross which is at least an imitation of the International Red Cross symbol, deprives the sign the possibility to be registered as a trade mark. ALTA filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 27 March 2012 case file II GSK 332/11 dismissed it.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 1033/10

February 22nd, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

This is another part of the saga of trade marks consisting of numerals. On March 2003, Agencja Wydawnicza TECHNOPOL Spółka z o.o. applied for the word trade mark 100 PANORAMICZNYCH Z-261876 for goods in Class 16 such as newspapers, charade magazines, booklets, brochures, flyers, calendars, posters, exercise books.

The Polish Patent Office decided that it cannot grant rights of protection for signs which cannot constitute a trade mark, or are devoid of sufficient distinctive character. The PPO reminded that the following are considered as being devoid of sufficient distinctive character (i) signs which are not capable of distinguishing, in trade, the goods for which they have been applied, (ii) signs which consist exclusively or mainly of elements which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, origin, quality, quantity, value, intended purpose, manufacturing process, composition, function or usefulness of the goods, (iii) signs which have become customary in the current language and are used in fair and established business practices. TECHNOPOL filed a complaint against this decision but it was dismissed by the Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 24 April 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 410/10. TECHNOPOL filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 8 November 2011 case file II GSK 1033/10 repealed the contested judgment and returned it to the VAC for further reconsideration. The SAC agreed with allegations of violation of administrative proceedings that was based on erroneous findings that the disputed trade mark could not acquire secondary meaning. The Court noted that when the PPO is assessing whether or not a sign has a sufficient distinctive character, any circumstances accompanying its use in marking the goods in trade should be taken into consideration. Grant of a right of protection under previously mentioned rules may not be denied in particular where prior to the date of filing of a trademark application with the PPO, the trademark concerned has acquired, in consequence of its use, a distinctive character in the conditions of the regular trade. This indicates the possibility of acquiring secondary meaning by descriptive signs. In principle, secondary meaning can only be acquired by signs that are devoid of any distinctiveness, including descriptive or generic designations. Thus, the mere fact that the sign is purely informational does not preclude the acquisition of secondary meaning. Descriptive signs refer to the qualities or characteristics that may affect goods from various manufacturers.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1291/11

November 23rd, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish Patent Office refused to grant the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark LAW24.pl applied for the Polish law firm Komarnicka Korpalski Kancelaria Prawna sp.j for services in Class 35 such as advising on business and business management consultancy, in Class 36 such as financial consultancy and financial and accounting activity, and in Class 42 such as legal services.

Z-341137

The PPO pointed out that the sign was applied for broadly defined legal services, and it cannot be registered because it lacks sufficient distinctive character, therefore it cannot be the subject of exclusive rights as others would have been deprived of the possibility to use it. The PPO noted that the applied trade mark is a company name, but there are different regulations regarding company names and the names of individuals. The PPO ruled that the right to the company name is not absolute, effective in relation to all (erga omnes). The PPO stated that the case of each applied trade mark is always considered individually on its specific conditions, so the argument that there is plenty of registered trade marks that include the word “law”, and the PPO should also grant the right of protection in this case, was rejected The PPO did not agree with the argument that recent visits to the website could prove that the trade mark in question has acquired secondary meaning. According to the PPO, the applicant has not submitted any evidence documents to confirm it. Komarnicka Korpalski Kancelaria Prawna filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 31 August 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 1291/11 dismissed it. The Court agreed with the PPO and held that Internet address identifies a legal or natural person, but this identification is not equivalent, that the services provided by such person are marked with the same deisgnation.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 396/11

November 8th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

EAST SEA POLAND Spółka z o.o. filed a notice of opposition to a final decision of the Polish Patent Office on the grant of a right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark BIEN DÔNG R-204010 registered for services in Classes 36, 39 and 43, and owned by AEROCENTER TRAVEL Trinh Huy Ha.

R-204010

EAST SEA claimed that this mark is descriptive, because in the translation from Vietnamese to Polish language, it is the name of the South China Sea – Biển Đông. This name is the official designation of the geographic area used in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and as such it should remain free to use on the market. The company argued that this trade mark may lead to consumers’ confusion, in particular those of Vietnamese nationality, as to the nature or characteristics of services provided by the owner, because the sign in its content relates to the maritime area, which is associated with maritime transport, and not to the services that it was registered for. EAST SEA argued that the Bien Dong designation may be misleading as to the place where services are provided, as the owner provides its services in Poland and not in Vietnam. It is worth mentioning that EAST SEA applied for three trade marks that include BIEN DONG words.

Z-290648

AEROCENTER TRAVEL argued that the Bien Dong is strictly abstract expression for the average Pole who doesn’t know what it means in Vietnamese. The Company disagreed, that this is false or fraudulently marked geographical origin of their services, since none of the customers going to the office in Warsaw would expect it to be in Vietnam at the South China Sea.

The Polish Patent Office dismissed the opposition and EAST SEA POLAND decided to file a complaint against this decision. The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 13 May 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 396/11 dismissed it and held that the Polish Industrial Property Law – in principle – does not preclude the registration in Poland as a national trade mark, the word that is taken from the language of another country in which language this word is devoid of distinctive character or it is descriptive for the goods or services for which the registration was sought, unless recipients/consumers in the State in which registration is sought, would be able to read the meaning of this word.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 562/11

November 4th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish Patent Office refused to grant the right of protection for the word trade mark flex fuga Z-297616 applied for by MAPEI POLSKA Sp. z o.o. for goods in Class 1 such as adhesives based on plastics and resins, silicone mortars, for goods in Class 6 such as decorative moldings, profiles, metal profiles, and for goods in Class 19 such as decorative moldings, profiles, profiles not made of metal, masonry mortars, dry plaster, mortars for grouting and welding.

The PPO decided that this trade mark is devoid of sufficient distinctive character and it lacks any additional elements, such as verbal or graphic, which would allow potential purchasers to identify the goods with the source of the origin of goods. The PPO noted that a fuga is a weld/joint between adjacent wall elements and flex means flexible in English.

MAPEI filed a complaint against this decision but it was dismissed by the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 26 August 2009 case file VI SA/WA 1017/09. MAPEI decided to file a cassation complaint. The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 13 January 2011 case file II GSK 19/10 overturned the judgment of the VAC and held that the VAC relied on the erroneous assumption that the buyers (users) of goods bearing the trademark at issue are those who know English or use the Internet every day, which was not supported by any evidence. Besides, the trade mark flex fuga was applied for not only various types of mortars but also for various types of decorative moldings, profiles, sections of metal and non-metallic, and in relation to those goods it is difficult, to talk about “cut or bent” joint or weld.

The case went back to the Voivodeship Administrative Court. The VAC in its judgment of 9 May 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 562/11 held that the fact that the Polish Patent Office has granted the rights of protection for a number of trade marks containing the word “flex” or the word “flex” in combination with other words, should prompt the PPO to a broader examination of the merits of the MAPEI’s trade mark application. Thus, the PPO’s view that even if MAPEI relied on other decisions issued by the Polish Patent Office, it could not affect the assessment of the submitted application and its final examination, is not justified. The VAC noted that the PPO could change its position on the regularity of the grant of rights of protection, in which one element was the word “flex”, but it should justify such change in detail. The case law of the PPO may therefore be subject to change, if the authority demonstrates that there are reasonable grounds. However, any unfounded inconstancy of the opinion of the public body constitutes an infringement of the administrative procedure, because it may result in undermining citizens’ trust in state bodies and adversely affect the legal culture of citizens, and thereby cause a breach of the constitutional rule that all persons shall be equal before the law and all persons shall have the right to equal treatment by public authorities.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 466/10

July 5th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

Aquatherm GmbH registered a single green color determined by RAL 150 60 40 as a trade mark IR-863506 for goods in Class 19 such as rigid pipes of polypropylene for the supply of drinking water and heating and air conditioning systems in houses, office buildings and industrial buildings. The Company sought the recognition of the protection of its trade mark on the territory of the Republic of Poland based on the provisions of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks.

IR-863506

On 11 July 2006, the Polish Patent Office transmitted to the International Bureau in Geneva a notification of the grounds which prevent the protection of an international trademark to be recognised on the territory of the Republic of Poland. The PPO decided that according to Article 120 of the Polish Industrial Property Law this trade mark cannot distinguish the goods, because it is a single color and it is devoid of sufficient distinctive character.

On 20 April 2007, the Patent Office sent a letter to the International Bureau with information concerning the correction of a clerical error in the notification dated 11 July 2006, informing that the provisional refusal to recognize the protection should include Article 129(1)(ii) and Article 129(2)(i) of the IPL and not Article 120 of the IPL. At the same time, the PPO did not consider the request of the Aquatherm GmbH to initiate an administrative hearing on the correction of this error. The PPO pointed out that the correction did not change the legal basis of the notification. The difference in the numbering of Articles 120 and 129 was a result of unfortunate, in this case, close arrangement of numbers 9 and 0 on the computer keyboard.

The Polish Patent Office in its decision of 9 May 2008 case DT-IR-863 506 refused to recognize the protection. Aquatherm GmbH filed a request for re-examination of the matter, but it was dismissed by the PPO in its decision of 10 June 2009 case PT-430/08 IR-863 506. The PPO did not agree with the Aquatherm GmbH that the registration on its behalf of the earlier trade marks such as IR-832895 or IR-837655 justifies the registration of the applied sign because each case is decided according to individual circumstances. The PPO held that it has not changed, as a result of correcting errors, the legal basis of the refusal.

Aquatherm GmbH filed a complaint against these decisions. The Company argued that the PPO infringed on Article 5(2) of the Madrid Agreement because it took its decision after the expiration of one year term that is calculated from the date of the international registration of the mark. The provisions that were used as the basis for refusal, were first indicated in the letter of 20 April 2007. Aquatherm GmbH argued also that the PPO mistakenly determined that the goods included in the list of goods and services are everyday consumer goods targeted for mass audiences, and that the green color is commonly used for the determination of water supply pipes, and aqueous solutions. According to the Company, the PPO has not made an exhaustive evaluation of the evidence, in particular, it completely ignored the key evidence submitted by the company in a statement of the Polish Corporation of Sanitary, Heating, Gas and Air-Conditioning Technology which included information on whether a given color may indicate the manufacturer
on the market of installations polypropylene systems, and whether the green color used as designation of pipes or installations allows the buyers to identify these products with Aquatherm GmbH.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 3 December 2009 case file VI SA/Wa 1452/09 dismissed the complaint. The VAC held that the provisional refusal cannot be considered ineffective. According to the Court, the PPO indicated the grounds for refusal which was in accordance with the Rule 17 of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement. The Court noted that in the case of color per se its concrete distinctive ability must be interpreted in the light of public interest, which is based on the rules of the limited reduction of the availability of colors for other entrepreneurs who offer goods or services of the same kind as the goods or services covered by the registration application. The basic function of the trade mark is to guarantee the final consumer or user the identity of the origin of the goods or designated services bearing the trade mark by letting them distinguish the goods or the service of goods or services of different origin. The distinctive character of the sign is based on such features which in the minds of consumers clearly indicate that a particular product bearing a given trade mark comes from the specific company. The VAC noted that in relation to the color per se, it is assumed that the existence of primary distinctive characteristic (without any prior use) is possible only in exceptional circumstances, especially when the number of goods or services for which the mark is applied for is very limited and when the relevant market is very specific. The Court noted that the green color in relation to the applied goods is not unusual. The VAC agreed with the PPO that, in the case of green color used for the pipes used for water flow, there is a risk that consumers will associate it with nature, therefore, it should not be monopolized by one company, in particular, that this shade of green RAL 150 60 40 is also not original.

Moreover, the VAC found that the Patent Office has rightly used the example of PN-70/N-01270 standards Guidelines for marking of pipelines. The standard recommends that the painting for the identification of pipelines made ​​of carbon steel or other materials susceptible to corrosion should be coordinated with anticorrosive painting in which the topcoat should also fulfill the function of identification. It is customary to use green for water and chemical solutions that pose no chemical and thermal threat. The Court noted that the statement of the Polish Corporation of Sanitary, Heating, Gas and Air-Conditioning Technology could be helpful to support Aquatherm position, but also found that such a document can not be regarded as expert evidence under the provisions of Polish Administrative Proceedings Code or substitute evidence for opinion polls.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 15 April 2011 case file II GSK 466/10 dismissed the cassation. The SAC agreed with the findings included in the judgment of the VAC and ruled that the provisional refusal to recognize the protection is, by its very nature, some kind of a general statement issued by an authorized body of the state that is the party to the Madrid Agreement, and it includes the grounds which prevent the protection of an international trademark to be recognized on the territory of the Republic of Poland. The reasons given in the notification of provisional refusal set the boundaries within which the Polish Patent Office then investigates the case and its matter. However, as it was mentioned, the notification is of a general (signaling) nature and it is clarified in a subsequent administrative proceedings. In the event of a dispute, the position included in the notification is subject to detailed examination by the administrative courts, reflecting inter alia the context of a trade mark application, the nature of the applied sign, etc. As a consequence, the reasons of a provisional refusal should be explained in general terms and take into account all the circumstances specified in the notification by the authority.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2180/10

April 19th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 11 March 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 2180/10 ruled that the word-figurative trade mark 60 R-156991 is not sufficiently distinctive in standard business transactions because it does not individualize the goods of the trade mark owner among the goods of the same type that originate from different companies.

R-156991

The Polish Patent Office properly assessed the consumers of goods such as crosswords publications, and considered this groups as very diverse. Its members are people of different ages and different levels of education. There was no reason to believe that such a broadly defined consumer will identify a specific numerical designation with a given publisher, not the number of crosswords included in the publication. This judgment is not final yet.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 501/10

October 25th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish company EDIPRESSE POLSKA S.A. from Warsaw applied for the right of protection for word trade mark NEW Z-294152 for goods in Classes 16, 35 and 41. The Polish Patent Office refused to register this sign claiming that it does not have sufficient distinctive character that would allow to individualize the source of the goods. The PPO concluded that the sign is not distinctive, because it informs that the goods and services for which the registration is sought, are… new. EDIPRESSE filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 27 May 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 501/10 held that the common practice of the Polish Patent Office in registering trade marks containing descriptive elements was definitely too liberal, especially if it is considered that while examining the registrability, the future interest of other entrepreneurs in access to a given sign should be taken into account. According to the VAC there must be a significant reduction in the number of registered trademarks with the descriptive elements, geographical or generic names, as the result of understanding the proper function of a trade mark, because the primarily function of a trade mark is to indicate the origin of the goods from a particular undertaking. If, therefore, the applied sign may be perceived by the average consumer as information about the characteristics (properties) of goods or services, the origin from a particular geographic area, it cannot be a trademark due to lack of distinctive ability which is required for trade marks. The importance of the principle of freedom of access to certain descriptive signs must therefore lead to a significant reduction in the number of signs with descriptive elements that were registered as individual trade marks. The judgment is not final.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2127/09

September 10th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Polish company AFLOFARM Fabryka Leków Sp. z o.o. applied for the word-figurative trade mark “tabletki na uspokojenie Aflofarm” (in English: Aflofarm tablets for calming down) Z-298475 for goods in classes 03, 05 and 44. The Polish Patent Office refused to grant the right of protection in part of the goods in class 5 covering dietetic substances for medical use, food for babies. The PPO held that the right of protection shall not be granted for a sign that misleads the public as to the nature and properties of the good. Such misleading information is a sign that may cause false image of the average buyer as to the nature of the product, its quality or properties. The assesment of content of a signs is made by him or her from the perspective of the average consumer. The interest of the buyers requires the assumption that the sign is misleading, once a small group of consumers may be misled as to the characteristics of the goods or services, since these characteristics may affect the decision taken, in relation to those goods or services. Under such assumption, the assessment cannot be affected by anything outside the relationship sign – the goods with the reasonable buyer’s idea on such relationship. It follows that the sign “tabletki na uspokojenie Aflofarm” on the goods listed in class 5 should be considered as misleading the buyers as to the nature, purpose, or functional characteristics of these goods.

Z-298475

AFLOFARM argued, that it’s not true that the buyer/consumer “is left alone” with a sign and a product bearing the questioned trade mark. These products are only available in pharmacies and are issued only by a professional that is a pharmacist. Thus it excludes the confusion of the average consumer as to whether he or she has bought the wrong product.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 18 March 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 2127/09 agreed with AFLOFARM’s arguments and reversed the contested decision. The Court also noticed that “tabletki na uspokojenie Aflofarm” trade mark was applied for dietary agents/means for medical use, rather than dietary substances for medical purposes. For this reason, the Court held that the goods that are marked with a “tabletki na uspokojenie Aflofarm” trade mark will not cause consumers’ confusion since products of such indications or effectiveness can be classified differently, depending on their registration or application.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 607/09

August 31st, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

TRODAT POLSKA Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw applied for the right of protection for Pieczątka 2 Z-294822, Pieczątka 3 Z-294821, and Pieczątka 4 Z-294823 trade marks in class 13. Pieczątka means “stamp” in English. The Polish Patent Office in letters dated 27 March 2007 informed the applicant that these signs are not capable of serving as trade marks due to lack of sufficient distinctive character and urged Trodat to submit comment on this issue. The applicant did not respond to the letters sent by the PPO, in particular, Trodat did not take any position on the reported lack of sufficient distinctive character.

Z-294821

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 14 July 2010 case file II GSK 607/09 held that the burden of proof rests on those who seek for legal consequences from a particular fact for itself (the applicant), it results from a series of obligations incumbent on the applicant, including the obligation to provide explanations, to take an active part in the proceedings and to submit precise requests. These obligations are provided in Articles 145(2) and 152 of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, 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, in connection with Regulation of the Prime Minister of 8 July 2002 on filing and processing of trademark applications, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 115, item 998 with subsequent amendments.

Article 145
1. Subject to paragraph (2), where the Patent Office finds that the statutory requirements for the grant of a right of protection for a trademark have not been satisfied, it shall make a decision on refusal to grant the right.
2. Before the decision referred to in paragraph (1) is made, the Patent Office shall fix a time limit, within which the applicant is invited to react on the collected evidences and documents which imply the existence of grounds that may cause the right of protection to be denied.
3. Where the statutory requirements are found not to have been satisfied in respect to only certain goods, a right of protection for the trademark in respect of these goods shall be first to be refused by the Patent Office. On the respective decision becoming final the Patent Office shall grant a right of protection for the trademark in respect of the goods, for which it can be granted.

Article 152
The Prime Minister shall, by way of regulation, determine the detailed requirements to be satisfied by a trademark application, the detailed rules and procedure to be applied in the course of examination of trademark applications including, in particular, the extent to which the relevant information may be disclosed to the public after the expiration of the period referred to in Article 143 and the manner in which it is made available, as well as the extent to which the Patent Office is authorised to make corrections in the list of goods and their classification. The requirements to be satisfied by trademark applications may not be determined in such a way as to encumber the applicant with excessive and unreasonable impediments.

The renunciation of the party – despite the invitation issued by the Polish Patent Office – to submit sufficient evidence, explanations, positions may not be of no importance in a situation where the party alleges that the PPO erred in its decision in this particular issue, as a result of breach of the obligation imposed on the PPO to clarify the circumstances of the case in accordance with Article 7 and 77 of the Administrative Proceedings Code – APC – (in Polish: Kodeks postępowania administracyjnego) of 14 June 1960, 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 7
Public administration bodies shall uphold the rule of law during proceedings and shall take all necessary steps to clarify the facts of a case and to resolve it, having regard to the public interest and the legitimate interests of members of the public.

Article 77.
§ 1. The public administration body is required to comprehensively collect and examine all evidential material.
§ 2. At each stage of proceedings a body can amend, supplement or withdraw rulings made regarding the examination of evidence.
§ 3. An body conducting proceedings as a result of having been required to do so by the body having jurisdiction to settle the case (Article 52) may, on an ex officio basis or on application by one of the parties, hear new witnesses or experts on circumstances that form the objects of such proceedings.
§ 4. Universally accepted facts and facts known to the body ex officio do not require proof. Parties to proceedings should be informed of facts that are known to the body.

The SAC noted that the provisions of the IPL that provides the possibility to request the applicant by the PPO to submit comments or issue a statement, in fact, serve to define the limits of administrative case, such as defining what is to be examined by the PPO and to what extent this should occur. The PPO is required to make an invitation before taking a decision, therefore, before deciding on the matter. At this stage, it is possible to have the intervention of the parties, if, contrary to the intentions expressed in the request/application, the PPO, for example, does not cover by its activities of all elements of the case, or unreasonably restricts its borders.

Trade mark law, case Sp. 334/05

July 30th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 1 March 2004, the Polish Patent Office registered word-figurative trade mark CZUWAJ R-152214 (in English: “Be Prepared”). Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego – Główna Kwatera is the owner. The sign looks exactly the same as the Scouts Cross.

The final design of Scout’s Crass was approved during ZHP’s unification conference held on October 1-2 1918 which has choosen this sign as the official badge of Polish scouting In November 1918 the Polish Ministry of War decreed that the Krzyż Harcerski was the only civilian emblem that might be worn on military uniforms. The tradition continues to this day.

Nowadays, there are three major scouting organizations in Poland. Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego, Związek Harcerstwa Rzeczypospolitej and Stowarzyszenia Harcerstwa Katolickiego Zawisza.

R-152214.jpg

ZHR filed a request for invalidation of the right of protection. The request was based on provisions of article 8(1) of the old Polish Trade Mark Act – TMA – (in Polish: Ustawa o znakach towarowych) of 31 January 1985, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 5, item 15, with subsequent amendments.

A trademark shall not be registrable if:
1) it is contrary to law or to the principles of social coexistence,

The Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2001 No 49, item 508, consolidated text on 13 June 2003, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 119, item 1117, with subsequent amendments, provides more stricter regulations against registering such signs.

Article 131
1. Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs:

(…)

(ii) that are contrary to law, public order or morality, or

(…)

2. A right of protection shall not be granted for a sign, if:
(i) it has been applied for protection with the Patent Office in bad faith,
(ii) it incorporates the name or abbreviated name of the Republic of Poland, or its symbols (emblem, national colours or national anthem), the names or armorial bearings of Polish voivodships, towns or communities, the insignia of the armed forces, paramilitary organisations or police forces, reproductions of Polish decorations, honorary distinctions or medals, military medals or military insignia, or other official or generally used distinctions and medals, in particular those of government administration, local self-administration or social organisations performing activities in vital public interests, where these organisations’ activities extend to the entire territory of the State or to a substantial part thereof, unless the applicant is able to produce evidence of his right, in particular in a form of an authorisation issued by a competent State agency or a permission given by an organisation, to use the sign in the course of trade,

(…)

(v) it incorporates elements being symbols, in particular of a religious, patriotic or cultural nature whose use could hurt religious feelings, sense of patriotism or national tradition,

The Polish Patent Office in its decision case file Sp. 334/05 invalidated the right of protection. The PPO ruled that all Polish scouts’ organizations should have the right to use this sign. This decision is not yet final. A complaint may be filed to the Voivodeship Administrative Court.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 555/09

May 17th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

This is the continuation of the story described in “Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2376/08“. The Free Trade Union of Drivers of the Republic of Poland (FTUD) and its representative disagreed with the decisions of the Polish Patent Office and the Voivodeship Administrative Court, and filed a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court. The FTUD claimed that the drawing of an eagle included in its sign differs from the National emblem, because it has different colors and is on a different background. The Union also argued that the sign emphasizes its national identity, and not link with the state bodies. According to the Union, the PPO already registered many characters that consist of national symbols that were artistically altered. The refusal of registration of the questioned sign limits the competition argued the Union.

The Supreme Administrative Court in a judgment of 21 April 2010, case file II GSK 555/09, dismissed the cassation appeal. According to the SAC the provisions of the IPL and the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland should be read together. Neither the emblem or image of the Eagle established as the emblem and symbols of the Republic of Poland shall not be subject to protection rights. This applies also to similar signs – said Judge Małgorzata Korycińska. The judgement is final.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 2376/08

August 28th, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 21 February 2004, Wolny Związek Zawodowy Kierowców Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej (Free Trade Union of Drivers of the Republic of Poland) from Warszawa applied to register the word-figurative trade mark WOLNY ZWIĄZEK ZAWODOWY KIEROWCÓW in classes 4, 12, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45.

In a letter dated 30 August 2006, the Polish Patent Office informed the applicant that, under article 131(2)(ii) and article 145 of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, 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 later amendments, it can not be granted the right of protection for the applied sign.

Article 131
2. A right of protection shall not be granted for a sign, if:
(ii) it incorporates the name or abbreviated name of the Republic of Poland, or its symbols (emblem, national colours or national anthem), the names or armorial bearings of Polish voivodships, towns or communities, the insignia of the armed forces, paramilitary organisations or police forces, reproductions of Polish decorations, honorary distinctions or medals, military medals or military insignia, or other official or generally used distinctions and medals, in particular those of government administration, local self-administration or social organisations performing activities in vital public interests, where these organisations’ activities extend to the entire territory of the State or to a substantial part thereof, unless the applicant is able to produce evidence of his right, in particular in a form of an authorisation issued by a competent State agency or a permission given by an organisation, to use the sign in the course of trade,
(…)
Article 145
1. Subject to paragraph (2), where the Patent Office finds that the statutory requirements for the grant of a right of protection for a trademark have not been satisfied, it shall make a decision on refusal to grant the right.

2. Before the decision referred to in paragraph (1) is made, the Patent Office shall fix a time limit, within which the applicant is invited to react on the collected evidences and documents which imply the existence of grounds that may cause the right of protection to be denied.

The PPO pointed out that the mark contains a white eagle, which is protected based on the provisions of the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland (in Polish: ustawa o godle, barwach i hymnie Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) of 31 January 1980, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 7, item 18, with later amendments.

In response to the objections raised by the Polish Patent Office, the applicant in a letter dated 11 September 2006, disagreed with the PPO’s assessment and claimed that the drawing of a bird included in the trade mark recalls an eagle, but it is a completely different bird to that depicted in the emblem of the Republic of Poland. WZZK pointed out the different colour of a bird, the colouring of his crown and claws, and the differences in the background. WZZK also noted that the mark includes the inscription “Wolny Związek Zawodowy Kierowców” (Free Trade Union of Drivers).

The Polish Patent Office in its decision of 22 June 2007 refused to grant a right of protection for the applied trademark. In a letter dated 23 July 2007 WZZK requested a retrial, calling for the reversal of the contested decision. In its decision of 19 September 2008, case file DT265/07, the Polish Patent Office upheld the contested decision of 22 June 2007. The PPO pointed out, that the provisions of article 131(2)(ii) of the IPL meet a double function. It is one of the provisions to guarantee the state, its bodies and institutions a monopoly on the use of state symbols. These symbols have a specific role in business transactions and are intended solely for the identification of specific nationals’ bodies or institutions, or documents derived or issued by them. Moreover, this provision assures the average consumer that the national symbols are used by the authorized institutions of the Polish state. The PPO also cited article 16(2) of the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland, according to which, it is permitted to place on goods intended for trading the emblem of the Republic of Poland or the colours in a stylized or artistically prepared form, but the PPO also said that these provision only authorize for the placement and they do not allow to grant the right of protection. WZZK filed a complaint to the Voivodeship Administrative Court (VAC) in Warsaw.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its a judgment of 6 March 2009 case file VI SA/Wa 2376/08 dismissed the complaint and ruled that pursuant to article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the emblem, colours and the national anthem of the Republic of Polish are protected by law and details regarding these symbols are provided in the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland. Article 1(1)(2) and (3) of this Act provides that the white eagle, white-red color and “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” are the symbols of the Republic of Poland. The right and the duty of every citizen of the Republic of Poland and all state organs, institutions and organizations is to respect these symbols. These symbols remain under special protection provided in different regulations. The provision included in article 131(2)(ii) of the IPL excludes the possibility to grant the right of protection for the sign, not only when it contains an exact reproduction of the image of an eagle as provided in the Annex 1 to the Act on Coat of Arms, Colours and Anthem of the Republic of Poland but also when a sign contains a drawing of an eagle as described in article 2(1) of the Act.

The coat of arms of the Republic of Poland is the image of a white eagle with a gold crown on his head turned right, with unfolded wings and gold beak and claws, on a red field.

This provision allows for the registration of a trade mark which contains, among others the emblem, only in one case – the applicant has to prove to have the right to use such trade mark in trade. It was undisputed for the Court that the applicant had no such right. And for all readers interested in these issues I would like to recommend reading Grzegorz Pacek’s article entitled Marks as imitations of State emblems ‘from a heraldic point of view’ that was recently published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 4, Number 9, September 2009.

The rest of the story is described in the post entitled “Trade mark law, case II GSK 555/09“.

Trade mark law, allusive signs

July 1st, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

An interesting example is BALSAM Z SADŁA ŚWISTAKA R-183603 trade mark. It should be translated as Balm of Marmot’s Fat. But still, in my ranking of allusive trade marks, the first place is given to the application filed by the Polish company Przedsiębiorstwo Produkcyjno-Handlowe “Paola” Spółka z o.o. z Bielan Wrocławskich for the sign “A to ci puszka” Z-233576, which in strict translation shall be undestood as “What a can” but in fact in a loosely translation can be understood as “What a cunt”. I just wonder what the examiner of the Polish Patent Office has thought about it.

Trade mark law, case Sp. 424/06

May 10th, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 28 February 2005, the Polish Patent Office issued a positive decision and registered the word-figurative trade mark METAL-CHEM R-162449 in Class 6 for goods such as steel, in Class 7 for goods such as machinery and equipment for special treatment, technological lines for waste treatment as well as the teams line and accessories, machinery and equipment for the production of cobblestones, bricks and masonry, welders for pipes, in class 11 for electric heaters and in Class 40 for production of special machines, mechanical and thermal processing, casting of non-ferrous metal. It was applied for on 24 September 2001 by the Polish company Zaklad Urzadzen Metalowych “METAL-CHEM” Sp. j. A. Pochec, L. Szymanski, M. Aplas from Rudki.

R-162449

Another Polish company, Instytut Inzynierii Materialów Polimerowych i Barwników (the Institute for Engineering of Polymer Materials and Dies), from Torun filed a request to invalidate the right of protection. The request was based on 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.

Article 129(1)(i)
Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs which:
(ii) are devoid of sufficient distinctive character.

Article 131(1)(i)
Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs:
(i) whose use infringes third parties’ personal or economic rights,

Article 132(2)(i) and (iii),
A right of protection for a trade mark shall not be granted, if the trade mark:
(i) is identical to a trade mark registered or applied for registration with an earlier priority date (provided that the latter is subsequently registered) on behalf of another party for identical goods,
(iii) is identical or similar to a renowned trade mark 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 trade mark. The above provision shall apply to well-known trade marks accordingly.

The company from Toruń presented its trade mark METALCHEM R-51184 registered with an earlier priority on 12 April 1973. This trade mark was applied for on 15 May 1972, for goods in Class 6, 7, 9, 20 such as worm pumps, pumps, vertical and horizontal rotational pumps for aggressive liquids, valves, clamps, agitators, mixers, pressure-type apparatus made of stainless steel and carbon steel, containers for transporting granular substances, containers and tanks of plastics.

The PPO has invalidated METAL-CHEM trade mark in its decision of 29 January 2009 case act signature Sp. 424/06. The Adjudicative Board of the PPO has taken into account only arguments based on article 132(2)(ii) of the IPL. The Board acknowledged that METALCHEM trade mark has distinctive character and is successfully used at the market. As regards arguments based on article 132(2)(i), the Board held that both signs are identical, the separate spelling is not a significant argument and the goods are similar and complementary. The reputation has not been proven by the company from Toruń so the motion based on article 132(2)(iii) of the IPL was dismissed. The decision is not final.

Trade mark law, VI SA/Wa 1000/08

February 5th, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

In the decision of 4 February 2005, the Polish Patent Office granted the right of protection for the word trade mark Glazide in class 5 for goods such as anti-diabetic pharmaceutical preparations, for Farmaceutyczna Spółdzielnia Prac Galena from Wrocław.

Les Laboratoires Servier from France filed a request for invalidation of the right of protection based on articles 129(1)(ii) and 129(2)(ii) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, 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.

Article 129(1)(ii)
1. Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs which:
(ii) are devoid of sufficient distinctive character.

Article 129(2)(ii)
(ii) signs which consist exclusively or mainly of elements which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, origin, quality, quantity, value, intended purpose, manufacturing process, composition, function or usefulness of the goods.

The French company claimed that the mark Glazide could not distinguish the goods for which it was registered. The mark itself presents information about the treatment of diabetes. The active ingredient (AI) in these kinds of medicine is the substance called gliclazidium (gliclazide). However, the PPO dismissed the request and the French company filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 31 October 2008 case file VI SA/Wa 1000/08 dismissed it. That court held that the disputed mark may lead its recipients (doctors, pharmacists) to make some association with the AI, but it does not mean that it lacks the distinctive character. The sign differs from the AI in phonetic and visual aspects. According to the Court, the Glazide trade mark is fanciful and does not describe a type of drug. The VAC ruled that article 129(2)(ii) clearly states that only signs that are made exclusively of the elements that describe the nature or origin of goods lack distinctive character.

The judgment is not yet final. The cassation complaint was filed before the Supreme Administrative Court. See “Trade mark law, case II GSK 214/09“.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 1620/08

January 22nd, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

On 22 January 2003, the Spanish company Aceites del Sur-Soosur S.A. applied to the Polish Patent Office to register the word trade mark LA ESPANOLA Z-260063 in class 29 for goods such as edible oils and fats. The PPO rejected this trade mark application, justifying its decision case file DT-51/08 on the basis of Article 129(1)(ii) and Article 129(2)(ii) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej) of 30 June 2000, 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.

1. Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs which:
(ii) are devoid of sufficient distinctive character

Article 129(2)(ii)
2. Subject to Article 130, the following shall be considered as being devoid of sufficient distinctive character:
(ii) signs which consist exclusively or mainly of elements which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, origin, quality, quantity, value, intended purpose, manufacturing process, composition, function or usefulness of the goods.

The representative of the Spanish company claimed that Aceites del Sur-Soosur had a long tradition in the production of such goods and is well-known in many countries, and that there is also a CTM registration for the word-figurative trade mark LA ESPANOLA CTM no. 000132092, however, the PPO found that the sign indicated the word origin of goods from Spain. In its original language it means “the Spanish” or “Spain”. And in PPO’s opinion Spain is also famous for production of goods of this type, such as oils.

Aceites del Sur-Soosur filed a complaint before the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw but the VAC in its judgment of 18 November 2008, case file VI SA/Wa 1620/08 fully agreed with the Polish Patent Office and stressed the fact that such sign, while presented without any graphic element, has purely-for-information status, which points to the place of origin of goods imported from Spain.

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.

Trade mark law, case VI SA/Wa 693/06

January 24th, 2007, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 3 November 2006 case file VI SA/Wa 693/06 held that a dimensional trade mark (3D), which is an exact reproduction of the packaging is not distinctive, and thus cannot be registered.

IR-0405177

This case concerned the refusal to grant the right of protection for International trade mark IR-405177 owned by Ferrero, S.p. A. from Alba.

Trade mark law, case II GSK 92/05

November 11th, 2005, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 29 June 2005 case file II GSK 92/05 held that a sign that is depicted as confectionery, or a cookie called delicja (Jaffa cake) cannot be registered as a trade mark, because it only shows and serve as a shape of a product. The Polish Patent Office has granted the right of protection for the 3D trade mark R-116211. The applied sign was described as a flat round cookie, the lower portion being the disc with rounded edges is colored in pale yellow, the top of the cake has circular elevations of smaller diameter, the surface of which is convex, rectangular grid, and the entire upper surface of the cake is in dark chocolate brown. Five different Polish companies have requested the PPO to invalidate the right of protection, and argued that it was applied contrary to Polish and European regulations. The PPO invalidated the right in question. The owner, LU POLSKA Spółka Akcyjna, filed a complaint against this decision. The Voivodeship Administratie Court in its judgment of 18 October 2004 case file II SA 3199/03 dismissed it. LU POLSKA filed a cassation complaint.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the ability of distinguishing the goods or services (the so-called “abstract ability to distinguish” goods or services) must be distinguished from the “sufficient distinctiveness” of an applied trade mark. Only after finding that a given sign is capable to serve as a trademark, its distinctive ability in concreto is subject to examination. A sign cannot be identified with the product itself. The Court ruled that the interpretation of Articles 4 and 7 of the old Polish Act of 31 January 1985 on Trade Marks – TMA – (in Polish: Ustawa o znakach towarowych), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 5, item 15, with subsequent amendments, should be made in accordance with the provisions of Article 3(1)(e) of the First Directive 89/104. Accordingly, signs which consist exclusively of the shape which results from the nature of the goods themselves shall not be registered or if registered shall be liable to be declared invalid. This regulation should be interpreted in the manner that signs which consist exclusively of the shape of goods shall not be registered if it is proven that basic, functional features of such shape are assigned only to technical characteristics.

R-116211

The contradictions with the law or rules of social coexistence, that are the condition of inadmissibility to register a trade mark, must not only connect directly to the sign itself, but also to the circumstances surrounding the registration of the mark if they contain elements contrary to law or the rules of social coexistence. In addition, the violation of other laws than those included in the TMA should be considered as the registration contrary to law. The registration of a 3D trade mark whose sole purpose is to monopolize the market of a given product and thus deprive the competitors of the freedom of establishment as regards the possibility of further production of the same product, is violation of the provisions of the law.

Trade mark law, VI SA/Wa 1482/04

August 11th, 2005, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 3 August 2005, case file VI SA/Wa 1482/04 held that a single colour is not able by its nature to independently distinguish goods of individual entrepreneurs. But, even if a single colour is devoid of any distinctive character according to article 3(1)(b) of the First Directive, it may acquire such a distinctive character in relation to goods by use of such coulour. This factor should be considered when assessing the registerability of a single coulour as a trademark.

Z-206238

This judgment concerned separate Color RED Pantone 485 C applied for by Firma Cukiernicza SOLIDARNOŚĆ – rok założenia 1952 Spółka z o. o. from Lublin for goods in class 30 such as confectionery, chocolate confectionery, sweets.

Trade mark law, case GSK 864/04

April 11th, 2005, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 23 November 2004 case file GSK 864/04 held that according to Article 4(1) and Article 7(1) of the old Polish Trade Mark Act – TMA – (in Polish: Ustawa o znakach towarowych) of 31 January 1985 Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 5, item 15, with subsequent amendments, an undefined trademark, i.e. a trade mark which is not represented in one form, does not possess any sufficient ability to distinguish goods. This judgment concerned a trade mark that was filled according to the Madrid system of international registration of marks.

IR-667827

The trade mark IR-667827 owned by FERRERO S.p.A. is represented in the double color composition (the lower part is in white and the top part is in orange). The Court ruled that there was no justification for the argument that the composition or combination of colors, that could serve as a trade mark, has to meet other and additional requirements, such as novelty and originality of form or compositions of colors, i.e. it has to be a manifestation of creativity. However, an undefined sign, that does not exist in one and the same form, is not able to create and capture the consumer associations as to the origin of goods from one and the same entrepreneur. So, such a sign is not sufficiently distinctive. A simple composition of two or more colors, without shape or contour, or the combination of these colors in every possible configuration, does not meet the accuracy and uniformity that is required to perform the function of the trade mark in order to be registered. Such inaccurate representation of the sign which is the combination of colors presented in an abstract (no contours) may lead to many different variations, which in turn, will not allow the consumer to perceive and remember this sign, and thus re-purchase the goods originating from the same company.