Monika Wieczorkowska: articles by this author
An amendment to the Industrial Property Law has led to changes regarding particular types of trademarks such as collective marks and guarantee marks. Collective marks were included in the previous version of the act, but the guarantee mark is something new, replacing the collective guarantee mark. This will have certain implications for businesses.
Trademark proprietors try to promote their brands so they become known and recognisable among customers, achieving greater distinctiveness and even repute. A famous brand is the dream of every trademark owner. But sometimes exceptional popularity proves damaging to the brand. Then the trademark can become eroded or genericised.
The cosmetics market is growing and with it the number of different trademarks reported for this type of products. Therefore, conflicts between trademark registrations are inevitable. Their assessment is essentially the result of an assessment of the similarity of the compared goods and the similarity of the compared trademarks.
Recent case law from Poland and the EU shows that it is tough to gain protection for a 3D trademark in the form of the shape of a product. Maintaining the protection of such a mark may also be a problem.
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.