Unused trademark rights can be revoked even where invalidation proceedings are ongoing before the Patent Office, according to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Under Polish IP law, trademark rights may be revoked if not put to genuine use before the fifth anniversary of the date on which the rights were granted. The use must relate to the goods or services in respect of which the right is registered.
However, the rights will not be revoked if there is an important reason for non-use. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, the mere fact that invalidation proceedings have been issued does not constitute an important reason that would justify non-use of the trademark by the right holder. The court rejected arguments from the holder of the “Goplana MICHAŁKI” trademark that using the trademark while invalidation proceedings were ongoing would expose him to the risk of claims by his competitors.
The court ruled that non-use could be justified for natural or legal obstacles, such as force majeure, but had not been prevented by the invalidation proceedings.
Law: Industrial Property Law Act