Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

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4. Results: Answers
Claim construction
When during a patent infringement action are claim terms defined by the tribunal?

Answer ... The scope of a patent, as determined by the patent claims, is interpreted by the district civil court in examining the infringement case. Although to some extent the doctrine of equivalents is applicable in Poland (see question 6.2), the courts tend to take a strict approach to patent claims construction, which results in a tendency towards a literal interpretation of the claim terms.

For more information about this answer please contact: Marta Kawczynska from Polservice
What is the legal standard used to define claim terms?

Answer ... In accordance with the Act on Industrial Property, the scope of a patent is determined by the patent claims. Descriptions and drawings may be used to interpret the claims, but this happens only in case of doubt. No provision in the act requires the description and figures to be taken into account when determining the scope of a patent. Nevertheless, as Poland is a contracting state to the EPC, the Protocol on the Interpretation of Article 69 EPC of 5 October 1973, as revised by the Act Revising the EPC of 29 November 2000, is directly applicable in Poland. Thus, for the purpose of determining the extent of protection conferred by a patent, due account will be taken of any element which is equivalent to an element specified in the claims – at least in the case of patents granted by the EPO and validated in Poland.

For more information about this answer please contact: Marta Kawczynska from Polservice
What evidence does the tribunal consider in defining claim terms?

Answer ... There is no exhaustive list of the types of evidence that can be provided in infringement proceedings for the purpose of defining the patent claim terms.

One option is to submit an expert opinion or the declaration of an expert appointed by a party. However, such opinions or declarations are not considered as evidence, but rather as private opinions.

The court may also appoint an independent expert witness itself, if it considers this necessary in view of the complexity of the case. In such case the parties may express their preference as to the appointment of a specific expert witness; however, the court is not obliged to take this into account. The expert witness may also be heard by the court during the trial and questioned by the parties. The opinion of the court-appointed expert witness is recognised by the court as evidence.

For more information about this answer please contact: Marta Kawczynska from Polservice