Poland Introduces Specialized IP Courts, New Types of Court Actions

Jul 6 2020 - 14:22

A new Act amending the Civil Procedure Code and other relevant acts entered into force in Poland on July 1, 2020 introducing specialized IP courts as well as new types of IP-related court actions.

Specialized IP Courts

Specialized IP courts in Poland will have competence over all IP-related matters. According to the Act, the IP subject matter is broadly defined covering not only industrial property rights and copyright and related rights, but also rights based on unfair competition regulations as well as personal rights, in particular if breached through advertising and other commercial activities, including research and inventive activities.

The Act introduces four first instance courts with departments specialized in IP matters, in the cities of Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan, and Lublin, and two appellate courts, in Warsaw and Poznan. The specialized IP court in Warsaw will be the only court dealing with complex cases and certain IP matters, such as those concerning computer software, patents and utility models, topographies of integrated circuits, plant varieties and trade secrets.

The amendments aim to improve the enforcement of IP rights and ensure uniformity of the case law and legal certainty, which were subject to criticism in the past.

New Types of Actions

The new Act also introduces the possibility to file certain IP-related counterclaims before the court, which were until now only available before the Polish Intellectual Property Office. This should decrease the costs and the length of the respective proceedings. Namely, in infringement proceedings based on a Polish trademark or design right, the defendant will be able to counterclaim invalidity or revocation actions before the court, hence avoiding the need to file a separate action before the IPO.

Furthermore, filing a claim to establish that a certain action does not infringe an IP right will be available for plaintiffs who have a valid legal interest for filing such claims, which should improve legal certainty and decrease the number of fraudulent actions by the alleged IP owners.

By: Ivan Kos

For more information, please contact Ivan Kos at our Croatia office.

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