Answer ... The registration process is governed by the Polish Patent Office (PPO) (www.uprp.pl).
Answer ... The official fees are as follows:
- First class: PLN 450.
- Each additional class: PLN 120.
- Publication fee: PLN 90
- Registration fee for each class: PLN 400
Answer ... Yes, Poland is a party to the Nice Agreement and the Nice Classification is applied in connection with the registration of trademarks in Poland.
Answer ... The PPO does not allow ‘class-wide’ applications. The applicant must identify the specific goods or services for which the mark will be used. If the class headings are used, they are interpreted literally.
Furthermore, certain terms are considered vague and are not accepted without further clarification to specify the scope of protection. These are set out below:
- Class 6 – Goods of common metal not included in other classes;
- Class 7 – Machines;
- Class 14 – Goods of precious metals or coated therewith;
- Class 16 – Goods made from paper and cardboard;
- Class 17 – Goods made from rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos and mica;
- Class 18 – Goods made of leather and imitations of leather;
- Class 20 – Goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics;
- Class 37 – Repair services;
- Class 37 – Installation services;
- Class 40 – Treatment of materials; and
- Class 45 – Personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.
Answer ... No, a bona fide intention to use the trademark for the goods or services identified in the application is not required in order to apply for registration.
The trademark should be put to genuine use for the goods or services covered by the registration for a period of five successive years once the decision to register has been issued, unless serious reasons for non-use exist. A trademark that is not put to genuine use for a five-year period may be vulnerable to cancellation due to non-use.
Answer ... No relative examination of trademark applications is conducted. An opposition system applies to the registration of trademarks in Poland.
Answer ... Only formal requirements and absolute grounds for refusal are examined ex officio by the PPO.
Answer ... A mark is ineligible for registration if:
- the application has been filed in bad faith;
- the mark is contrary to public order or morality;
- the mark incorporates an element of great symbolic value (ie, of a religious, patriotic or cultural nature) whose use would offend religious feelings, sense of patriotism or national tradition;
- the mark incorporates a symbol of the Republic of Poland (emblem, national colours or national anthem); insignia of the armed forces, paramilitary organisations or police forces; a reproduction of Polish decorations, honorary distinctions or medals, military medals or military insignia; or other official or generally used distinctions and medals;
- the mark contains a symbol (armorial bearings, flag or emblem) of another country; the name, abbreviation or symbol (armorial bearings, flag or emblem) of an international organisation; or an official sign or hallmark of control and warranty adopted in another country, where such prohibition follows from international agreements;
- the mark contains an officially recognised sign used in the course of trade – especially a safety sign, quality label or legal hallmark – and may thus mislead the public as to the nature of such sign;
- the mark, by its nature, might mislead the public, in particular as regards the nature, quality or geographical origin of the product;
- the mark constitutes or is similar to the protected name of a plant variety and relates to a plant variety of the same or a related species;
- the mark contains geographical elements which, though literally true as to the territory, region or place of origin of the product, could mislead the public by falsely representing that the product originates in a different region which is famous for that product; or
- the mark is identical or similar to a registered geographical indication, name of origin, traditional name for a wine or geographical indication of a spirit.
Answer ... A third party can object to registration of a mark before publication of the application only on the basis of absolute grounds for refusal.
In such case so-called ‘observations’ must be filed with the PPO, setting out the arguments concerning the objections raised on absolute grounds.
The party that submits the observations will not become a party to the proceedings and consequently will not be informed of any actions taken by the PPO in relation to the observations. The observations are also not legally binding on the PPO.
Once the PPO has received the observations, they are sent to the applicant, which is given a timeframe in which to submit its response. Upon receipt of this response, the PPO will conduct a further examination of the application.
Answer ... No. However, the trademark should be put to genuine use for the goods or services covered by the registration for a period of five successive years once the decision to register has been issued, unless serious reasons for non-use exist. A trademark that is not put to genuine use for a five-year period may be vulnerable to cancellation due to non-use.
Answer ... It typically takes about two to three months from filing an application to the first office action. The length of this term depends on the backlog at the PPO.
Answer ... It typically takes about two to three months from filing an application to publication. Publication may be delayed if the formal requirements have not been fulfilled or if the PPO finds absolute grounds for refusal.