Use of a trademark in Poland in a form other than the registered form

The right of protection for a trademark may be preserved if the use of the trademark consists in using it in the form as registered. This means the obligation to use the mark in the form (form) that was applied for by the holder and that was registered in the trademark register.

However, under certain conditions, the use of a mark in a form other than the registered form may also be considered to fulfill the characteristics of “actual use.” Use of such a modified form of a mark is possible only to the extent that the changes made not only do not affect its distinctive features, but above all do not lead to a change in the very essence of a trademark registered in Poland.

As emphasized in the Polish doctrine and jurisprudence, a trademark holder may use a sign in a modified form in relation to its form registered in Poland, if the changes do not concern the elements determining the distinctive character of the sign or lead to a change in its representational form.

However, the differences must relate to such insignificant elements that the two signs can be considered equivalent in principle. The use of a mark in a form that differs slightly and only in insignificant elements is considered to fulfill the obligation of use, so that the identity of the marks can be established. In practice, this means that the consumer will consider the registered mark and the used mark to be one and the same.


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Trademark in Poland

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Attorney-at-law Joanna Susło, Ph.D.
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