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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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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
Poland: can color be monopolized?
The Polish Supreme Court in its judgment of 21 October 2010 case file IV CSK 231/10 held that the combination of colors may serve as a trademark but the entrepreneur, who is entitled to the right of protection, cannot prohibit the use of one of such colors that is used by another entrepreneur in its trade mark. Judge Wojciech Katner stated that the single color cannot be a trademark. The object of protection is in this case combinations of colors, as referred to in Article 120(2) of the Polish Industrial Property Law. The trade mark infringement occurs when the proportions and the use of a given color by another entrepreneur will not allow for distinguishing of trade marks.

Sending the case back for reconsideration the Court stated that the judgment of the court of the second instance should be clarified so that the dominance of the green color, would not suggest that this was the British Petroleum fuel station. The court agreed with the defendant that one cannot monopolize the colors, and only some are valuable on the fuels market. The Court held that although different entrepreneurs use the same color to designate their stations, it will not lead to consumers confusion because of the layout, and even a shade of these color.

Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 11.39
Tags: Polish Supreme Court, non-traditional trade marks, single colour, trade mark infringement, trademark law, unfair competition delict, unfair competition law,
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