Marzena Białasik-Kendzior: articles by this author
One of the changes in the amendment of the Industrial Property Law is that there will no longer be a graphical presentation requirement for trademarks. From 16 March 2019, it is possible for trademarks to be presented in any form using generally available technology, provided that they are presented in a clear, precise, independent, understandable, durable, objective, and easily accessible manner.
To obtain protection for a trademark the owner must prove that a sign has a distinctive character, i.e. it is not merely descriptive. But it is often unclear whether this is the case.
Some categories of goods, such as agricultural produce, foods and spirits, are valued by customers primarily because of the exceptional natural conditions of their town, region or country of origin, or because of their traditional production methods. Authorised producers use geographical indications for their products to underline this uniqueness.
Genuine commercial exploitation of a trademark can also be shown when a position trademark is used in combination with other graphic elements.
The fairly long waiting time for registration of trademarks at the Polish Patent Office often means that instead of seeking protection in Poland, businesses decide to register with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO, formerly OHIM). Although much more expensive, proceedings there are generally fast and simple. Major changes have now been made to Poland’s Industrial Property Law with the aim of making the Polish Patent Office more competitive with EUIPO.
Apart from the recognition of letters of consent, a major change in trademark law already in force is the possibility of registering a mark containing the name Polska or Poland (or the abbreviations RP or PL), or the name of a Polish locality, without the need to obtain the consent of the relevant authorities.