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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Choo Choo trouble hits Polish kindergartens

The Polish entrepreneur Przedszkola Pomaranczowa Ciuchcia A. Slawek sp. jawna from Warsaw, the owner of the word-figurative trade mark pomaranczowa ciuchcia przedszkola R-247390 ("orange choo-choo kindergartens"), sued another entrepreneur based in Minsk Mazowiecki who runs kindergartens as its business activity under the name  Wesola ciuchacia  ("Jolly choo-choo").

The District Court in Siedlce acknowledged that the plaintiff had the right to a complex trade mark (a word-figurative) which included the word "ciuchcia" a.k.a. "choo-choo" -- but declined to grant a preliminary injunction on the ground that a ban would block the use of such word for any other business, which would hamper the proper functioning of the market and could lead to the monopolization of this word by one company.

The Appellate Court in Lublin in its judgment case file I ACz 1156/12 dismissed the complaint filed by A. Slawek. Thatcourt held that the company cannot extend the right of protection for the word mark orange choo-choo to the mere word choo-choo  in order to prevent others to use it in their company names. The right of protection included the sufficiently distinguishable words orange choo-choo -- but the word  choo-choo  itself, according to the court, was not distinctive. Although these rights are in force throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Poland, the risk of misleading recipients of kindergarten services is limited because both entrepreneurs are operating in very different areas  -- Warsaw and Minsk Mazowiecki. The risk of confusion between the names orange choo-choo  and  jolly choo-choo  is also minimized by establishing the entity that is responsible for running kindergartens, the scope of education and educational services, human resources services and the method of financing.

This post was written by Class 46 team member Tomasz Rychlicki and posted on his behalf by Jeremy Phillips

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 17.40
Tags: Poland, trade mark infringement, prelminary injunction, likelihood of confusion between traders in different areas,
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