Expertise

Trademarks

A trademark is a sign or symbol that distinguishes the goods or services, or both, of one business from another in commerce.

 

Protection in Poland is afforded to those registered in:

  • the Polish Patent Office in Warsaw,
  • the European Union Intellectual Property Office in Alicante, or
  • International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

 

Protection is against use of identical or confusingly similar marks.

 

Protection is for 10 years, as are renewals.

Industrial
designs

Put simply, it is the external form of the whole or part of a product.

 

Protection in Poland is afforded to designs registered in:

  • the Polish Patent Office in Warsaw,
  • European Union Intellectual Property Office in Alicante, or
  • International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

 

Protection is narrow; an opposed design must not create a different general impression. But it is quick (even several days after a filing) and relatively inexpensive.

 

Registration is for 5 years, as are renewals, but renewals are limited to a maximum of 4.

Inventions
and utility
models

A novel, technical solution can be patented (if it is non-obvious), or protected as a utility model.

 

Protection in Poland can be afforded to technical solutions registered in:

  • the Polish Patent Office in Warsaw,
  • European Patent Office in Munich, or
  • International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

 

Protection of a patent can be broad and can be up 20 years after a filing; that for a utility model can be up to 10 years after a filing.

 

The extent of protection depends on the skill of a patent attorney in formulating claims.

Topography
of integrated
circuits

The right from the registration of the topography of an integrated circuit protects the original – not commonly known at the moment of creation – three-dimensional arrangement of its elements. Protection may also cover all or some of the circuit connections. At least one of the elements of the circuit must be active, i.e. it must participate in generating and processing the signal. After obtaining protection, the product containing the protected topography can be marked with the letter “T” in a circle.

 

Registration of a topography with the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland entitles the right-holder to use the topography for professional purposes or for profit in the territory of Poland. As a result, the right-holder may, for example, prohibit other entrepreneurs from selling products utilising part or all of the protected topography. The right-holder may also e.g. sell or license the right.

 

Protection of the topography of an integrated circuit remains effective for ten years from the end of the calendar year of its registration or introduction to the market, whichever comes first.

Plant variety
protection

The exclusive plant variety right at a national or EU level entitles its holder to decide who will be authorised to propagate and sell plants of that particular variety. It also offers the opportunity to collect licence fees for the use of plant material of the variety resulting from the holder’s work. Importantly, the exclusive plant variety right is also an effective tool to prevent the use of the variety by unauthorised persons.

 

It is not possible to register a plant species, only a variety of a particular species. It must be significantly distinguished from other varieties of the same species by at least one characteristic. To obtain protection, the variety must comply with so-called DUS requirements, i.e. distinctness, uniformity and stability, and it must be new.

 

Protection can be obtained both at a national and EU level, but it is not possible to benefit from these two protection systems simultaneously. The exclusive variety right is valid from the date of the decision on granting this right. For most plants, the exclusive variety right has a life of 25 years.

Geographical
indications

Geographical indication is a protected word sign denoting the name of a specific place, a locality, region or country, used to describe a product originating in that specific place, locality, region or country and indicate its quality and good opinion. Often, the method of production of the given product is also protected. A geographical indication on a product is one of the factors determining its purchase, so its protection is important for both producers and consumers.

 

In the territory of Poland, geographical indications registered by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (UPRP) in Warsaw, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the European Commission in Brussels apply.

 

The scope of protection obtained as a result of registration of a geographical indication is very broad – an organization authorised to represent producers may prohibit the use of a geographical indication on products that do not meet certain requirements, and effectively object to the registration of trademarks containing this or a similar indication.

 

The geographical indication protection is effective as of the date of its registration and is indefinite.

Unfair
competition

The legislation defines various act of unfair competition; businesses are protected from products being copied, brands being passed off, consumers being misled.

 

Activity that is contrary to good custom or which threatens business interests is also prohibited.

 

The lack of the necessity of registration means it is a formidable right.

Trade secret
protection

The most effective protection of key technical, technological or organisational information is often to maintain its confidentiality. The Act on combating unfair competition prohibits any actions against trade secrets, especially their unlawful disclosure, use and acquisition.

 

In order to benefit from these provisions, it is not necessary to have any formal registration with the patent office. Taking all necessary steps to maintain confidentiality of information is required.

Ligitation

We represent clients in matters in the Polish Patent Office, EUIPO, common courts, and have appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Litigation is a last resort and every effort is made to negotiate an amicable resolution of a dispute.

Negotiations
and contracts

Contracting requires experience and skill; especially, in that Polish intellectual property law is full of traps for the unwary. We have substantial experience in negotiating complex difficult contracts; e.g., gained while working for the defense industry.

Training
of personnel

Business expand through knowledge which includes intellectual property and we advise on and train personnel in that aspect.

 

Training is provided to SMEs and large corporations; e.g., one of the three largest automotive manufacturers in Poland.