APOLOGY FOR FILING AN OBVIOUSLY BASELESS LAWSUIT
Competitive struggle between entrepreneurs should take place in the market. Worse if it moves to the courtroom, because it usually means violating the rights or interests of one of the entities. Even worse, however, if one of the entrepreneurs sues the other making it a form of intimidation, harassment or chicanery. In one of the cases handled by our law firm, just such a situation occurred. A lawsuit was brought against our client, alleging acts of unfair competition – the marketing of goods intended to be slavish copies of the plaintiff’s products. The problem was that these acts did not take place, which, according to our client, the plaintiff was well aware of.
OBVIOUSLY UNFOUNDED ACTION
We succeeded in obtaining a judgment dismissing the claim in the case, moreover, we requested an apology for bringing the action. Such a possibility is provided by Article 22(1) of the Law on Combating Unfair Competition. According to it: If a manifestly unfounded unfair competition lawsuit is brought, the court, at the request of the defendant, may order the plaintiff to make one or more statements of appropriate content and form.
APOLOGY FOR OBVIOUSLY BASELESS ACTION
The court agreed with our argument, pointing out that no one had ever seen the product allegedly marketed by the plaintiff. It also rightly noted that in the case it was obvious that the plaintiff had other reasons for bringing the suit, but these the court did not determine.
Thus, the plaintiff not only lost the case and was ordered to pay costs, but was obliged to publish an apology on its website in favor of our client. The verdict is not final, but it is a warning to entrepreneurs against too hasty filing of lawsuits regardless of their reasons.
Judgment of the SO in Gdansk dated 14.04.2023. Case file XVII GW 63/22 (not final).
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