Counselling in the area of Polish competition law
Goals of the competition law
Each company that provides services or manufactures products of various kinds participates in a certain market. Different providers advertise here to win over the favour of the customers. As long as the companies operating in this market find customers for their services and products legitimately, everything is alright. Problems arise when this competition causes considerable harm to other companies through unfair business practices of individual market participants. This is where the competition law with its provisions steps in. It is to protect the competitors on the relevant market, as well as consumers from unfair business dealings and allow fair competition between individual companies.
The Polish competition law has its historical roots in the twenties of the last century. In 1926, the Polish Sejm adopted the first Polish Act on combating unfair competition, which entered into force the same year. The provisions of this Act diminished into insignificance due to changes in the social and economic order in the aftermath of the war. This changed only with the renewed change of the economic system in the early 1990s of the last century. However it turned out quickly that the competition regulations dating back to 1926 were no longer meeting present challenges in the nineties of the 20th century.
A new law had to be passed. Intergovernmental agreements in which Poland had committed to effective protection against unfair competition actions (such as the agreement on trade and economic relations between the Republic of Poland and the United States of America of March 21st, 1990), accelerated the awareness that new and modern competition law provisions are necessary. The new law on the prevention of unfair competition was adopted by the Polish Parliament on 16th April 1993 and entered into force on December 9th, 1993.
The target of this law includes both the combating of unfair business practices as even their prevention. The term unfair competition includes in particular such behaviors of competitors that consist in misleading the name of a company or its products violate the trade secrets of another company or are classified as unfair marketing measures.
Problems in the field of (Polish) competition law arise on the one hand if other market participants „chose” the services or products of a company and try to „redirect“ the previously satisfied customers on their own products. On the other hand, it may cause trouble if a competitor accuses another of unfair actions.
Our counselling services include
- Legal advice in advance of planned marketing activities,
- Verification of business practices of competitors in view of unfair competition acts,
- Extrajudicial prosecution in case of violations of the Polish competition law concerning the client’s company (warning notices),
- Judicial representation of client’s interests in case of infringement of the provisions of competition law by other market participants (injunctive relief, claim for abatement and removal, making public statements),
- Counselling and representation of client’s interests in claims for compensation against competitors,
- Counselling and defense against allegations of unfair business practices rose against the client (letters of warning, judicially steps already opened by the competitors).
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