In Poland, procedures related to granting protection to international trade mark are regulated by The Industrial Property Law of 30 June 2000 ("IPL").

According to current regulations (ie as of 08 December 2015), such protection may not be granted in situations where a trade mark is similar or identical to a trade mark already registered in the Republic of Poland. This is also the case if the period between the date when the protection of the earlier trade mark ended and the date on which an application for a similar mark was made is less than two years.

There is a possibility that this two-year waiting period can be excluded. This occurs when the protection of a trade mark has lapsed due to its non-use or when the holder under an earlier right consents to protection being granted for an identical or similar mark.

On 11 September 2015, the Polish Parliament revised the provisions of the IPL, with the amendment set to enter into force on 15 April 2016. The long-awaited change brought about by this amendment makes it possible to register a trade mark that is identical or similar to a trade mark that is already registered upon the written consent (a letter of consent) of the latter's holder. Such consent will result in the dismissal of any potential opposition to a decision granting protection to the latter trade mark.

The current lack of such normative regulation has raised serious practical problems. For example, an entrepreneur who is part of a capital group currently does not have the possibility of obtaining registration of trade mark in the Republic of Poland through a subsidiary if, inter alia, the parent company has already locally registered an identical or similar mark as a trade mark. The changes introduced by the amendment will allow the entrepreneur to register an identical or similar mark upon prior consent.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.