most interesting rulings

Guarantee agreements in Supreme Court jurisprudence

A guarantee agreement is the most widely accepted and common basis for a number of solutions used in M&A transactions. Therefore, its correct application is of fundamental importance for this practice. Meanwhile, judgments issued in recent years by the Supreme Court of Poland on the nature and normative sources of such obligations have caused doctrinal controversies and uncertainty among trade participants. It is therefore worth briefly summarising where the case law stands and the conclusions that can be drawn from it.

Supreme Court judgment will not benefit all cartel participants

A judgment of the Supreme Court overruling a decision of the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) does not apply to all participants in an agreement restricting competition. If a cassation appeal by one of them has been rejected or the Supreme Court has refused to accept it for examination, the case is irrevocably closed, regardless of how the proceedings continue and whether the decision of the president of UOKiK is ultimately upheld.

Distinctive character of a trademark

To obtain protection for a trademark the owner must prove that a sign has a distinctive character, i.e. it is not merely descriptive. But it is often unclear whether this is the case.

Where the outcome of one case may determine how the next one is adjudicated

The Supreme Court recently examined the question of courts being bound by final judgments issued in other cases. This issue relates to the binding nature of a judgment from a substantive point of view, i.e. that the same claim cannot be heard again once adjudicated upon. This is an issue of considerable practical relevance because it determines how the outcome of one case can affect how comparable cases are adjudicated. It also defines the boundaries with respect to a court’s freedom to ascertain facts and make legal evaluations by itself.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) did not determine whether rule of law is breached in Poland

The judgment issued on 25 July following a request for a preliminary ruling from an Irish court in case C-216/18 PPU L.M. does not essentially differ from the opinion issued by the advocate general. The CJEU stated specifically the circumstances in which the executing authority can find an exception to the principle of mutual recognition, but placed the final decision in the hands of the national court executing the European arrest warrant.

Louboutin wins case to defend red-soled shoes as a trademark

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has ruled that Christian Louboutin’s famous red sole does not consist solely of a shape that significantly increases the value of a product, and therefore can be registered as a trademark. This is an important victory for the fashion designer in the long-running battle concerning red-soled shoes.