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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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CTM-000132092On 22 January 2003 the Spanish company Aceites del Sur-Soosur, S.A. applied to the Polish Patent Office to register the word trade mark registration (Z-260063) for the LA ESPANOLA sign in class 29 for goods such as edible oils and fats. The PPO rejected this trade mark application, justifying its decision (act signature DT-51/08) on the basis of article 129(1)(ii):

1. Rights of protection shall not be granted for signs which:
(ii) are devoid of sufficient distinctive character
and article 129(2)(ii):
2. Subject to Article 130, the following shall be considered as being devoid of sufficient distinctive character:
(ii) signs which consist exclusively or mainly of elements which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, origin, quality, quantity, value, intended purpose, manufacturing process, composition, function or usefulness of the goods,
The representative of the Spanish company claimed that Aceites del Sur-Soosur had a long tradition in the production of such goods and is well-known in many countries, and that there is also a CTM registration for the word-figurative trade mark LA ESPANOLA (CTM no. 000132092). However, the PPO found that the sign indicated the word origin of goods from Spain. In its original language it means "the Spanish" or "Spain". And in PPO's opinion Spain is also famous for production of goods of this type, such as oils. 

Aceites del Sur-Soosur filed a complaint before the District Administrative Court in Warsaw but the DAC in its judgment of 18 November 2008, act signature VI SA/Wa 1620/08 fully agreed with the Polish Patent Office and stressed the fact that such sign, while presented without any graphic element, has purely-for-information status, which points to the place of origin of goods imported from Spain. This decision is not yet final.

Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 11.27
Tags: foreign words, Poland, Polish Patent Office,
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