Counselling in industrial property law in Poland

The protection of intellectual property, i.e. the individual legal interests standing with this term in the context, is becoming more and more important in the globalized world of today. The value of many medium-sized companies results today to a not inconsiderable extent from the existing intellectual and industrial property rights, which the companies have developed as competitive edge over competitors.

The area of intellectual property includes the copyright, as well as such in particular industrial property rights such as patent rights, design rights and trademark rights. In addition, this area extends on sensitive information in the company having an economic value that is summarized under the term of know-how.

The Polish law contains provisions on intellectual property in various laws, where three acts of law hold fundamental importance:

  • the Act on Industrial Property Law of 30th June 2000,
  • the Act on Copyright and Related Rights of 4th February 1994, as well as,
  • the Act on Combating Unfair Competition of 16th April 1993.

International agreements in the field of industrial property law

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property as starting point

The importance of industrial property right and copyright was recognized already at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, the inventions, utility models and trademarks are not bound to borders, on the other hand, the industrial property rights abroad are subject to the law of the respective country. With the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property in 1883, certain principles for the protection of intellectual property rights were established for the first time.

On the one hand, the Paris Convention defined, what is to be understood by the term of industrial property. On the other hand, the principle of equal treatment with nationals was recorded. It was thus not to create a uniform international law for the protection of intellectual property. The case was rather to grant the holder of intellectual property right in another Member State of the Paris Convention the same protection as the nationals of the given country (see also for copyright the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 9th, 1886). In addition, the priority right for invention patents, utility models or trademarks was introduced. The importance of the priority is that the holder of such right of protection, who has duly filed it in any of the countries of the Union, can register this protection right within a certain period of time in another Member State, without a publication of the invention made in the meantime or an interim use of the mark rendering this second application ineffective.

The TRIPS Agreement

With the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the various aspects of intellectual property, such as in particular the copyright and related rights, trademark rights, patent rights and the design rights were recorded for the first time in an international agreement. With its substantive provisions, as well as the regulations on the enforcement and implementation of intellectual property rights, the TRIPS Agreement contributed to a considerable improvement in the protection of intellectual property rights.

European Directives in the area of industrial property rights

The European legislator has in the past already adopted several legal acts dealing with the different areas of intellectual property. On the one hand these are directives relating to copyright, as well as certain individual aspects such as data bases and computer programs. On the other hand, regulations in the field of Community Trade Marks (see also Regulation (EC) No 207 / 2009 of 26th February 2009) as well as of the registered Community designs (see also Regulation (EC) No 6 / 2002 of 12th December 2001 as well as Regulation (EC) No 1891/2006 of the Council of 18th December 2006 amending regulations (EC) No. 6 / 2002) were adopted, which led to a harmonization in these areas. Furthermore, to improve the protection of intellectual property rights in the Member States, the Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29th April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights has been adopted.

Our advisory services in the area of intellectual property rights

  • Extrajudicial and judicial representation of client’s interests in case of infringements of intellectual property rights on the basis of the provisions of the Polish law (claims for information, claims for damages, injunctive relief),
  • Establishment and assessment of license agreements (licensing law),
  • Advice and representation in the defense of allegations with regard to breaches of law pressed against the client (letters of warning, judicially steps already opened by the right holders).

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