Bulgarian Supreme Court Decides on Genuine Use of ‘Vasilka’ Trademark
On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria decided on an interesting case involving the issue of whether the services rendered by the employee of a cleaning service company that fall outside the scope of her main duties amount to genuine use of her employer’s trademark.
The dispute involved the genuine use of the cleaning company’s ‘Vasilka’ trademark registered for office functions services in class 35. The company brought an appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court seeking to overturn the decision of the Administrative Court Sofia City, according to which the trademark had not been sufficiently used by its owner and its registration was thus subject to revocation, as decided by the Bulgarian Patent Office.
In the course of the proceedings, the cleaning service company claimed that the disputed services in class 35 had been rendered to a cosmetics company pursuant to a contract for office maintenance. According to an annex to the contract and a witness statement, it was established that apart from cleaning the offices, the cleaning lady employed by the cleaning service company also acted as a receptionist, thus performing office functions.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Administrative Court found that the primary service agreed on by the parties was the daily office maintenance. The rest of the services had only supplementary character and had been provided occasionally. Therefore, their rendering did not amount to the genuine use of the ‘Vasilka’ trademark for office functions. Consequently, the Supreme Administrative Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of the lower court.
By: Dimitar Batakliev
For more information, please contact Dimitar Batakliev at our Bulgaria office.
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