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Obtaining Legal Trademark Protection in Poland

By: Błażej Wągiel, registered attorney at IPSO LEGAL, Poland

 

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur looking to expand your brand into Poland, it’s important to understand the legal framework for obtaining trademark protection in the country. While the process of obtaining legal trademark protection in Poland may seem daunting, it’s an essential step to safeguard your brand identity and prevent competitors from infringing on your intellectual property rights. In this article, we’ll explore the various steps and requirements involved in securing trademark protection in Poland

Contents

1. What can be registered as a trademark in Poland?

2. Why can you be refused to register a trademark in Poland?

3. The process of trademark registration in Poland

4. Documents required for registering a trademark in Poland

5. Trademark opposition process in Poland

6. Costs of trademark registration in Poland

7. Final thoughts

1. What can be registered as a trademark in Poland?

 

Trademarks are signs that businesses use to identify their products or services. They can take the form of, for example, a drawing, letters, numbers, color, spatial form (such as the shape of goods or packaging) or even sound. It is important that such a marking be unique and distinguish the goods of one company from those of another.

 

In order to obtain legal protection for your trademark in Poland, you must apply for it in the trademark register maintained by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. The filing fee depends on the number of trademark classes in which the mark will be filed. For this purpose, it is useful to use the Nice Classification to determine the number of trademark classes.

2. Why can you be refused to register a trademark in Poland?

 

In an application to register a trademark with the Polish Patent Office, the trademark must be presented or expressed in an appropriate manner. Depending on the form of the mark, this may include attaching it to the application, presenting several parts of it side by side, expressing it in the form of a drawing or photograph, expressing it as a hologram, or expressing it as a melody not suitable for direct depiction.

 

The application can be submitted in person, by an attorney, by mail, by fax or online. The attorney may be a patent attorney, legal counsel, lawyer, cross-border service provider.

 

The application is considered to have been filed on the day it is received by the Patent Office. In the case of an application by fax, the original document must be delivered to the office within 30 days from the date it was sent.

 

The Patent Office may refuse to protect trademarks that:

  • may not be a trademark,
  • are not suitable for distinguishing in trade the goods for which it was declared,
  • consist exclusively of elements that are indistinguishable in commerce, such as the type of goods, origin, quality, quantity, value, purpose, method of manufacture, composition, function or suitability,
  • consist exclusively of elements that have entered the vernacular or are customarily used in fair and established business practices,
  • consist exclusively of the shape or other characteristic of the goods, which are necessary to achieve a technical effect or significantly increase the value of the goods,
  • were reported in bad faith,
  • are contrary to public policy or good morals,
  • contain an element that is a symbol, such as religious, patriotic or cultural symbols that offend religious feelings, patriotic feelings or national tradition,
  • contain a symbol of Poland, such as an emblem, colors, anthem, sign of the armed forces, paramilitary organization, law enforcement forces, reproduction of orders, decorations, badges of honor, military badges, etc., without demonstrating proper authority,
  • contain the symbol of a foreign state, the name, abbreviation of the name, the symbol of an international organization or the official designation of a foreign state, control or guarantee stamp, without demonstrating the appropriate authorization.

3. The process of trademark registration in Poland

 

The right of protection for a trademark in Poland is vested in the person who applied for it or acquired the right to use it from him. In Poland, many individuals and entities can obtain the right of protection for a trademark, including natural persons, legal entities, organizations and organizational units of the State Treasury.

 

As for individual trademarks, the right of protection can be granted by an individual, a legal person, a government authority or an unincorporated organizational unit. In the case of a collective trademark, the right of protection can be obtained by an organization or legal entity.

 

In addition, the protection right for a guarantee trademark may be granted to an individual or legal entity that is not engaged in the business of supplying goods. The guarantee trademark serves to distinguish certified goods from those that are not certified.

 

As for the joint right of protection, it is granted for a trademark that is intended for use by several persons, such as entrepreneurs. It is important that the use of such a mark is not contrary to the public interest or intended to mislead the public.

 

IMPORTANT: Remember that a registered trademark is protected only to the extent of the specific goods and services indicated in the application.

4. Documents required for registering a trademark in Poland

 

Full information on this topic can be found on the website of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (UPRP). According to the information posted on the UPRP website, the documents required to file a trademark application are:

  • Application – a document that is mandatory and must be filled out using a form provided by the UPRP or through an IT system.
  • Fee – a document confirming payment of the trademark application fee.
  • Priority document – a document that must be attached in case of claiming priority.
  • Graphic or sound materials – documents, including photographs or prints of the trademark, as well as computer media containing a sound recording in case of a sound or multimedia trademark.
  • Documents confirming the right to use markings in the trademark – documents that must be attached if the applied-for trademark contains symbols of the Republic of Poland, symbols of a paramilitary organization or law enforcement agencies, reproduction of a Polish order, decoration, or honorary badge, military badge or other official or commonly used decoration or badge.

 

All these documents should be submitted to the Polish Patent Office on paper forms or through the IT system.

5. Trademark opposition process in Poland

 

Did you know that in Poland you can file an opposition if you think a trademark filed by another entity is the same or similar to yours? Or if you’re the one trying to register a name, symbol, logo or motif that someone else is using in their business?

 

This is important because your trademark rights are protected by law. To avoid possible legal problems in the future, it is a good idea to file against a similar or the same trademark that has been filed by another entity.

 

Objections may be filed if:

  • use of the trademark violates your personal or property rights of persons;
  • the trademark applied for is identical to a trademark for which a right of protection has been granted with an earlier priority in favor of another person for identical goods;
  • the trademark applied for is identical or similar to a trademark for which a right of protection has been granted with an earlier priority in favor of another person for identical or similar goods, if there is a risk of confusing the public, which includes, in particular, the risk of associating the mark applied for with the earlier mark;
  • the applied-for trademark is identical or similar to a reputable trademark for which a right of protection has been granted with an earlier priority in favor of another person for any goods, if the use of the applied-for trademark without a legitimate reason would give the applicant an unfair advantage or be detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the earlier trademark;
  • the trademark applied for is identical or similar to a trademark that, prior to the date by which priority to obtain the right of protection is determined, was in common knowledge in Poland and used as a trademark to designate identical or similar goods from another person, if there is a risk of confusing the public, which includes, in particular, the risk of associating the trademark applied for with a well-known trademark;
  • if under the provisions of national law or European Union law providing for the protection of a geographical indication or designation of origin, the person entitled to exercise the rights arising from an earlier application thereof, provided that the indication or designation is registered, may prohibit the use of a later trademark.

 

Opposition may also be based on applications for trademarks with prior priority, provided that a right of protection is granted for them. In this case, the commencement of opposition proceedings shall be stayed pending the resolution of the application proceedings on which the opposition was based.

 

An opposition must be filed within 3 months from the date of publication of the trademark application notice in the Patent Office Bulletin. The notice of opposition will be published in the Patent Office Bulletin and on the office’s website. The announcement must include the number of the trademark against which the opposition is filed and the name or company name.

6. Costs of trademark registration in Poland

 

Government fees of trademark registration in Poland:

  • 450 PLN – fee for filing an application for a trademark in one class, in traditional (paper) form,
  • 400 PLN – fee for filing an application for a trademark in one class, electronically,
  • 120 PLN – fee for each additional commodity class, in the case of a joint trademark or trademark for the purpose of obtaining a joint right of protection – the amount of the fee is increased by 100%,
  • 100 PLN – fee on the statement on the use of priority – for each priority.

 

The trademark registration cost in Poland via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $250, which includes all government fees and document preparation. Find the best patent attorney in Poland on iPNOTE.

 

January 23, 2023 marked the start of the third year of the SME Fund 2023 program. The SME Fund is a program designed to offer financial support to EU SMEs to protect their intellectual property rights. With this support, you can receive a refund of fees:

  • 75% of the official fees for trademarks or industrial designs, for EU, national and regional applications,
  • 50% of the official fees associated with filing a trademark or industrial design application at the international level.

7. Final thoughts

 

This article explains the process of obtaining legal trademark protection in Poland. It outlines what can be registered as a trademark, documents required for registration and the process of registration. The article also explains the opposition process in Poland.

Remember that in Poland, you can also obtain trademark protection covering all European Union countries. This means that your company can be protected regardless of which European market it operates in.

 

***

 

Have questions about trademark registration in Poland and Europe? Contact the IPSO LEGAL law firm via IPNOTE.

 

Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP problem.

 


 
Secure your brand’s future with seamless registration of trademark and brand patent registration services. Protect your intellectual property with confidence and ease.

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