A favourable judgement – lost profits

Jul 14, 2019

We are pleased to announce that in one of the cases conducted by us a final judgement of a Court of Appeal was issued, in which nearly 300.000,00 PLN was adjudicated in favour of our Client, together with interests due to an act of unfair competition.

Our Client sought compensation in a form of lost profits, which he did not obtain as a result of the competitor’s action. In the Polish judicial reality, it is difficult to pursue such claims – i.e. hypothetical amounts, which could have been acquired, had it not been for the infringing party. Judges tend to take a prudent position and, unless evidence demonstrates almost certainty of gaining a certain profit, it is difficult to convince the court to one’s reasons. Obviously, it is very difficult to obtain such evidence of the lost profit, deriving from hypothetical circumstances.

The judgement proves openness of the court and understanding of a real harm that infringing action (in this case – blocking sales) of a market competitor may cause.

This case was also interesting, as it concerned two legal regimes – unfair competition and industrial property law. The defendant, acting to prevent our Client from selling his products was formally entitled to an industrial design. However, he obtained his right in violation of the law, not to protect his rights (which he never had), but to block our Client from launching competitive products.

The Court’s ruling confirms once again the independence and – in some matters – superiority of the law on unfair competition over the industrial property rights. The registration of the industrial design itself does not legitimize the action of a dishonest entrepreneur.  The court stated in the matter that obtaining and exercising a right to an industrial design was unlawful and constituted an act of unfair competition.

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