MONDAY, 15 MARCH 2010
Poland: the law of prägnanz in the trade mark law
In May 2006, the Polish Patent Office (PPO) granted the right of protection for COROVIN R-173989 trade mark. Coroplast Fritz Müller GmbH & Co.K.G. the owner of COROPLAST R-91907 trade mark filed a notice of opposition to this final decision of the Patent Office on the grant of a right of protection. The German company argued inter alia that both signs are similar. The PPO rejected the opposition and the German company filed a complaint to the Voivodeship Admnistrative Court (VAC) in Warsaw.
The VAC in a judgment of 4 January 2010, case file VI SA/Wa 442/09 applied rules of the law of prägnanz (German: pithiness) while deciding this case on the grounds of the similarity of signs. The Court ruled that by creating specific stimuli, one can manipulate the external context, and by influencing the human experience, one can manipulate the internal context. The law of proximity states that elements close to each other compared with other, more distant elements form the figure. The law of similarity based on the law of proximity in relation to similar elements, indicates that human perception can give rise to a new separate figures, and a new association. Next, the law of closure indicates that the perceptual system adds the missing elements and closes the form of incomplete figures, and in this case one can add to the already existing characters CORO other letters. It should be noted that the human being creates the perceived reality based on the interaction of knowledge that flows from the various branches and experience, with received stimuli. So it may be, in this case. Human knowledge derived from other branches of science may "complete" the lack in the designation and close this sign.
Therefore, the VAC annulled the contested decision, and ruled it unenforceable. This judgment is not yet final. The party unsatisfied with the ruling may file a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 15.13
Tags: Voivodeship Administrative Court, similarity of signs, trademark law, Polish Patent Office, law of prägnanz,