In Poland, the Industrial Property Rights Act regulates issues related to granting and protection of exclusive industrial property rights at national level.
Intellectual property rights
Industrial property rights
The Polish Patent Office provides protection for:
- inventions and utility models;
- industrial designs;
- geographical indications (excluding the protection of appellations of origin for agricultural and food products);
- topography of integrated circuits.
In Poland, patents are not granted for plant varieties, animal breeds, purely biological methods of cultivating plants and raising animals nor for methods of treating people and animals.
The Patent Office provides registration rights for geographical and origin indications (excluding the protection of appellation of origin of agricultural and food products, for which the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible).
For plant varieties, exclusive rights to a variety can be obtained by submitting the appropriate application form to the Research Centre for Cultivar Testing.
The Copyright and Related Rights Act is the basic legal regulation regarding the protection of copyright and related rights.
The act covers two categories of law: copyright, which protects works and related rights, meaning the right to artistic performances, phonograph and video recordings, radio and television broadcasts as well as rights to first editions and academic and critical editions. The sui generis right to databases is a specific category of related rights that is regulated by the Database Protection Act.
Bodies protecting intellectual property
Copyright and related rights fall within the responsibility of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. The Minister is also responsible for granting permits for the activities of organisations of group management and for their supervision. In addition, the Minister is responsible for the control of the production of optical carriers. The Minister of Culture and National Heritage is the chairperson of the Team for Combating Violations of Copyright and Related Rights.
Protection of intellectual property rights abroad
Poland is a signatory to understandings, agreements, conventions and international treaties on IP law.
Poland has not signed any bilateral agreements on the protection of industrial property rights.
Combating counterfeiting and piracy
The Team for Combating Violations of Copyright and Related Rights was established in 2000 on the basis of the Copyright and Related Rights Act. Its main goal is to analyse piracy in Poland and to coordinate the activities of public bodies involved in combating piracy (including the Customs Service, the Prosecution Office, the Police, the Border Guard and the following Ministries: the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and the Patent Office). The Minister of Culture and National Heritage is the chairperson of the Team for Combating Violations of Copyright and Related Rights.
The team members operate on the basis of a strategic document prepared by the Team and adopted by the Council of Ministers (Programme for the protection of copyright and related rights 2008-2010). Annual reports contain summaries of the Team's activities.
Property rights encourage investment in innovation and research.
Registration forms for the protection of industrial property rights are available on the Internet:
Since 1 October 2008, it has been possible to register inventions on-line. The procedure for obtaining protection at the Patent Office for inventions, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks is described on the website o the Patent Office.
Protection of inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks and geographical indications can be obtained through a special procedure.
The Polish Patent Office provides current information on industrial property regulations and the procedure for granting and maintaining exclusive rights for the protection of items of industrial property.
Entities involved in the protection of intellectual property:
The Priority Axis of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013 supports activities that aim to help small and medium-sized enterprises make use of industrial property rights (in particular patent protection outside of Poland). It also supports the promotion of information on industrial property designs (Measure 4.2 Stimulating the Research and Development Activity of Companies and Measure 5.4. Industrial property management).