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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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Poland: problems with SeX

Z-294432To coin a paraphrase, sex always sells when it comes to news reporting -- so that was the reason why this Class46 correspondent chose such a topic. The Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports a recent judgment of the District Administrative Court in Warsaw (act signature sygn. VI Wa/SA 1018/08) regarding the word-figurative sign SeXemisja (SeX screening/broadcasting) for the protection of which TVP S.A. - Polish public broadcasting corporation applied for registration in classes 9, 38, 41, (Z-294432).

The Polish Patent Office (PPO) refused to grant trade mark protection because of the earlier registered word trade mark SEKSMISJA (sexmission) owned by Studio Filmowe Zebra in Warszawa. The right for protection (R-116200 ) was granted on 13 December 1999. It was registered in classes 9, 16, 35, 41 and 42.
TVP logo
PPO has ruled that TVP's sign is similar to the SEKSMISJA (sexmission) trade mark mainly in the visual aspect. According to PPO, the graphics used in TVP's sign distinguish the word "sex" and the middle letter "e" is not visible, so that the recipient can read it in the same way.

TVP has filled an appeal complaint before the District Administrative Court in Warsaw (DAC), arguing that PPO erred while testing the similarity of signs. According to TVP's representative the words "emisja" (screening/broadcasting) and "misja" (mission) differ conceptually and consumers will be able to distinguish between those two disputed signs without a risk of being confused as regards the origin of goods and services.

The DAC annulled the contested decision. Judge Malgorzata Grzelak ruled that the PPO did not explain why visual similarity played dominant role in this case. The Court held that PPO should also specify what is the concept of a regular recipient of these signs. The Office has to assess the degree of attention of consumers of these goods and services and, in addition, the PPO must refer to all allegations raised by the TVP S.A.

The judgment of the District Administrative Court in Warsaw, (Act signature VI Wa/SA 1018/08) is not final.

Seksmisja poster Finally, this Class 46 correspondent -- being a big movie fan -- would like to recommend all readers to watch the Sexmission flick, from which one the disputed trade marks originates.

Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 13.17
Tags: Poland, Polish courts, Polish Patent Office, Polish trade marks,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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