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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: the sphere of rights
On February 2009, the Polish company MIS S.A. applied to the Polish Patent Office for the right of protection for the word-figurative trade mark mis Polecany Lider Innowacyjności Z-351511 for goods in Class 9. The PPO refused, becuase it found similarity with the CTM MIS no. 002167674, registered with the earlier priority for goods in Class 9 and 42 and owned by MIS GmbH. MIS S.A. requested for the re-examination of the matter. The Company argued that the abbreviation MIS stands for management information systems and it lacks distinctive characteristics, because this term is functioning for many years in the textbooks of economics, management and information technology. The company indicated also that the proprietor of the earlier Community trade mark does not use it in business and is not interested in renewal of the protection of its trade mark, because, for several years, the successor of the German company did not file a formal request to transfer the exclusive rights to the new owner. The PPO refused to grant the right of protection, and MIS S.A. filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in its judgment of 29 september 2011 case file VI SA/Wa 1257/11 dismissed it. The Court agreed that there exists similarity of signs and goods and services. Moreover, the Court stated that along with granting the right of protection for a trade mark, the exclusive subjective right is also created, this right is effective erga omnes - against all. So it's important to separate ranges indicated in exclusive spheres of rights, and strive to avoid a situation where this could lead to overlapping powers. The property right on the trade mark is a transferable right, therefore, the sphere of exclusivity incorporated in the sign cannot be related to the business profile of the entrepreneur, because it involves the variability of the indicated areas of exclusivity and it is impossibile to determine it in the course of trade, as well as in the examination proceedings conducted before the Polish Patent Office.
Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 15.05
Tags: Polish law, similarity of goods, similarity of services, similarity of signs, trade mark refusal, Voivodeship Administrative Court, Polish Patent Office,
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