Polish publicly listed brokerage XTB is continuing its litigation efforts against XTrade. The full name of the former brokerage, whose shares are traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), is X-Trade Brokers. The company is arguing in German court that the name XTrade is too close to the trademarked brand XTB.
April saw the first win for the Polish company as it won its trademark infringement case on local turf. XTB is now filing another case, this time in Germany. The litigation process in a second EU jurisdiction could create a precedent outside of Poland where the X-Trade Brokers name was used since 2004.
The Warsaw Court of Appeals ruled that XTrade is forbidden to use the following verbal and word markings: ‘XTB’, ‘X-Trade’ and ‘XTrade’. XTrade Europe Ltd was also forbidden to use the website xtrade.eu while providing or promoting its financial and brokerage services. The company at present has exited the Polish market.
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In May this year, XTrade’s license was suspended by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) for misleading marketing. The company also holds licenses in Belize and Australia, where its operations have remained unaffected.
The ‘X-Trade Brokers’ brand has been used by the Polish company in Germany since 2009. According to the complaint, the name of the Cypriot brokerage is “confusingly similar”, taking the dominant elements ‘X-Trade’ vs. ‘XTRADE’.
The complaint in the German court has been expanded to include a charge on similar logos and other marketing materials used by the Cyprus-headquartered brokerage that are similar to those of XTB. The Polish broker believes that the confusion is misleading as to its identity and has caused irreparable damage to its business.
German law is different to the Polish one and no premature conclusions should be drawn from the complaints. The hearings on the case will continue over the next couple of months as XTrade has the right to respond to the complaint by the 28th of August 2017.