On 4 August 2009, the company Interton sp. z o.o. (“Interton”) applied for the word-figurative trademark “A ADORATION” – goods from class 3 (cosmetics, including eye shadow, lash mascara, lipstick, fluids, makeup foundation, nail polish). The Polish Patent Office granted a protection to the mark (R-235773). Fast forward to 21 June 2017 (and after a number of oppositions and disagreements), the Supreme Administrative Court provided a ruling dismissing the PPO’s decision.
One of the forms of a trademark more and more frequently encountered in trading is that of the shape mark. Read More
Changes have been introduced in the system of fees for the submission and protection of trademarks and industrial designs with the Polish Patent Office (PPO). An amendment of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers on fees relating to the protection of inventions, utility designs, industrial designs, trademarks, geographic designations and topographies of integrated circuits was published and entered into force at the end of 2016.
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The distinctiveness of a trademark is one of the conditions for obtaining a European Union trade mark (EUTM) registration. The concept of a trademark is defined through the prism of distinctiveness as its inherent characteristic, and also its basic function. This distinctiveness may be inherent (due to the unprecedented and extraordinary structure or content of the sign) or acquired (as a result of use of the sign on the market). Distinctiveness should be possessed by each representable and sensory perceptible sign capable of distinguishing goods or services that should perform the functions of a trademark in business or trade.
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In a ruling on 3 February 2017, the Court of Appeal in Białystok (Poland) considered an appeal by a defendant in a case concerning the right to combat unfair competition (case file I ACa 740/16). The dispute arose over the use by the defendant of the business name of the plaintiff when marketing services on the Internet.
The plaintiff’s business is debt recovery. Its activities involve acquiring debts from third parties or acting on behalf of creditors. The plaintiff became aware that the effectiveness of its activities was declining and believed the cause of this lay in the unlawful, in its opinion, activities of the defendant. The defendant conducts business involving consultancy services for debtors of banks and other institutions.
Ruling of the European Union General Court
On 25 September 2014, the European Union General Court (EU General Court) handed down a ruling (case ref. T-474/12) in the case of an invalidation of the right to a three-dimensional Community trademark created by the form of two packaged ice cream cups.
Ruling of the European Court of Justice
The companies Hauck and Stokke, known on the market for children’s accessories, were engaged in a dispute over high chairs. Hauck moved for the invalidation of a trademark registered by Stokke in the Benelux countries. The designation had the form of a high chair for children. The chair was traded on the market under the name Tripp-Trapp.
A decision issued recently by the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-91/14 P) (Court of Justice) concluded another stage in a dispute between Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowe Medox Lepiarz Jarosław, Lepiarz Alicja sp.j. (PH Medox) and OHIM and Henkel Corp. (an intervening party). The dispute concerned the following graphic designation:
The Secondary Distinctiveness of a Trademark: Ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union
If a ‘significant part’ (at least 70%) of the consumer group is able to recognize given goods as deriving from a specific company using the trademark, then the mark has certainly acquired distinctiveness, including in the case of ‘secondary distinctiveness as a result of use’.
The European Court of Justice held on 19 June 2014 in a ruling (C-217/13 and C-218/13) in the case of Oberbank AG, Banco Santander SA and Santander Consumer Bank AG vs. Deutsche Sparkassen und Giroverband e.V. (DSGV), the result of three pre-trial questions submitted to the Court of Justice by the German Federal Patent Office (Bundespatentgericht). The findings were as follows: Read More
In a recent case, the Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice) ruled that a simple drawing of sales premises for goods, without any indication of dimensions or proportions, can be registered as a trademark for services involving provisions related to those goods, but which do not constitute an integral part of admitting them to trade. One of the conditions making it possible to register such a depiction as a trademark is that the depiction makes it possible for the services concerned to be differentiated from those of other businesses. A second condition is that the registration does not meet any of the grounds for refusal of a registration specified in Directive 2008/95/EC. Read More