An EU trademark is unitary in nature, meaning that it enjoys uniform protection and has the same effect throughout the European Union, i.e. in all EU countries. At the same time, for the assessment of whether a mark has actually been used in the European Union, it must be made separately from the borders of the territories of the member states [cf.
This also means that an EU trademark enjoys broader territorial protection than a national mark registered in Poland. Thus, it is postulated that EU trademarks are used in an area larger than one member state. However, it cannot be ruled out that “in certain circumstances, the market for the goods and services for which a Community mark has been registered will in fact be limited to the area of a single member state.”
As the EU Court pointed out, “it is not possible to determine a priori and in the abstract what territorial scope must be assumed in order to conclude that the use of the mark is genuine.” In assessing the genuine nature of the use of a trademark, all the facts relevant to the case must be taken into account. This assessment should take into account, in particular, the characteristics of the market under consideration, the nature of the goods or services protected by the trademark, the territorial and quantitative extent of the use, as well as the frequency and regularity of such use.
The EU Intellectual Property Office must therefore determine on a case-by-case basis whether individual indications and evidence can be combined for the purposes of assessing the actual nature of use, of which the geographic dimension is only one aspect to be considered.
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Trademark in Poland