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Poland: AJAX versus JAX

R-171570On 18 April 2002 Polish entrepreneur "Zaklady Chemiczne EMICHEM Michal Mierzwa" from Poznan applied to register the word-figurative trade mark JAX in class 3 for goods such as washing preparations, body and hair care preparations, windshield preparations and washers, car-care preparations, stain removers, softening and bleaching preparations. The Polish Patent Office registered this trade mark (R-171570) in its decision of 16 March 2006.

R-135207 Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Delaware corporation, New York (US), filed a request to invalidate the right of protection based on article 132(2)(ii) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law (ustawa Prawo wlasnosci przemyslowej z dnia 30 czerwca 2000 r.) published in Dziennik Ustaw 2001 No 49, pos. 508, consolidated text on 13 June 2003, Dziennik Ustaw No 119, pos. 1117, with later changes:

2. A right of protection for a trade mark shall not be granted, if the trade mark:

(ii) is identical or similar to a trade mark 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.

The US company claimed earlier word-figurative trade mark registration (R-135207) of the mark AJAX Floral Bouquet. Colgate-Palmolive argued that there exist a high a risk of misleading the public because the disputed trade marks shared visual, aural and conceptual similarities.

The PPO accepted Colgate-Palmolive's arguments and invalidated JAX trade mark in its decision of 20 February 2009, act signature Sp. 421/07.

Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 16.11
Tags: likelihood of confusion, Poland, Polish Patent Office,
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