already in force

Radical changes in trademark law

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.

Registration of “Poland” trademarks will be easier to obtain

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.

New banking tax

On 1 February 2016, the Act on the Tax on Certain Financial Institutions came into force, introducing a “banking tax” and giving rise to multiple differences of opinion in the Polish banking and insurance sectors.

Changes in maximum and statutory interest rates

New rules for determining maximum interest rates and statutory interest rates for both interest on capital and interest on delay entered into force on 1 January 2016.

A new approach to mediation and its impact on judicial proceedings

An amendment to the Civil Procedure Code entered into force on 1 January 2016, raising the importance of mediation and significantly changing Poland’s mediation regulations. This will also affect the course of judicial proceedings commenced from that date forward.

Consideration of customer complaints by financial institutions

Financial services are not always performed as they should be, and procedures for considering customer complaints have not always been effective. Consequently, in May 2015 the Polish Financial Supervision Authority adopted a resolution on consideration of customer complaints, and in August the Sejm adopted the Act on Consideration of Complaints by Financial Market Entities and on the Financial Ombudsman. The act has just entered into force.