Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 18 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
If I register my trademark in Poland, do I have protection in other territories?
No. The mark will be protected only in Poland.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
Yes. A power of attorney is necessary to complete an application.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
Yes, but the benefits are minimal since rights are primarily established through registration. Pre-filing use may enable the applicant to show the mark’s distinctiveness and use it to defeat third parties opposing on the ground of non-distinctiveness.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Yes. Non-use of a registered mark is a valid ground for revocation.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Poland?
You may register any mark that can be replicated graphically and any sign that can add distinguishing qualities to a good or service. It can be a:
- Shape (with 3 dimensions)
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Poland?
The sequence of the application process is as follows:
Examination – Once the application was submitted to the trademark office, it will be examined according to its: formality, deceptiveness, classification, descriptiveness and distinctiveness.
Publication – The application details will be published online and in print for the public to see. Publication will allow third parties to challenge the application. Particulars that will be published include: mark, goods/services, number and date of application, name and address of applicant, priority claim, and class number.
Registration – Once the prosecution procedure is done, the oppositions are overcome, and if there are no other grounds for refusal, the registration will then be issued by the authorities.
What type of trademark is not registrable?
The following marks are prohibited from registration:
- Marks that are in conflict with standards of moral and public order
- Marks that consist of general words or terms that have broad meaning
- Marks that contain flags, symbols and names of international organizations, regions, states and nations without authorization from its respective authorities
- Marks that lack acquired distinctiveness
- Marks that serve principally as a name of a geographic location
Does Poland use the "Nice Classification" system?
Yes. Poland uses the Nice Classification system. A single application is needed to cover multiple classes of goods/services; if the mark will be used for more than one class of goods/services.
Does the Community Trademark apply for Poland?
Yes. Community Trademark is effective in Poland. Note that Community Trademark has now changed its name to European Union Trade Mark (EUTM).
Is there any possibility to claim priority in Poland?
Yes. It is possible to claim the filing date in your home country as the filing date in Poland provided that:
- Your home country is a member of the Paris Convention
- The filing date in your home country does not exceed 6 months from the date of application in this jurisdiction
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?
The mark must be continuously used for a period of 5 years. The amount of use is not specified by law but use must occur in Poland.
Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
The mark will be valid for 10 years counting from the date of application.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal of the mark will occur ten years from the filing of application date.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
Yes. It is legal to use a mark for goods/services even if it is not yet registered.
Does having a registered trademark in Poland give me any right?
It is a requirement for owners to register their trademark if they want to establish rights. The “first to file” rule is effective in Poland.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?
No. Use or intent to use is not necessary for registration.
Can a Trademark Application be opposed?
Yes. The application may be opposed on the following grounds:
- Breach of copyright
- Registration of mark under the agent’s name instead of the owner of the mark
- Rights in trade names
- Rights in registered designs
- Rights in personal name
Who can contest my trademark registration?
A trademark’s registration may be challenged by the following parties:
- Any interested or aggrieved party
- Owners of an earlier registered mark
- Exclusive licensees
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
Yes. A registered mark may be cancelled on the following grounds:
- Conflicts with an earlier registration (proprietary rights)
- Mark is descriptive, misleading, disparaging, deceptive, functional, or generic
- Mark is in conflict with a registered design or a personal name
- Mark is against public policy and principles of moral
- Mark is in conflict with trade names
- Mark is in conflict with well-known marks
- Mark is in conflict with protected emblems, flags and armorial bearings
- Marks is registered in agent’s name
- Mark has a geographical indication
- There is breach of copyright
- Unmet Section VIII.A. Use Requirements (consult us for more details)
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?
Yes. Registration of your mark helps you secure the following rights:
- Exclusive rights to use and benefit from the mark
- Rights to challenge succeeding conflicting applications
- Rights to take an action to cancel succeeding conflicting registrations
- Rights to take a legal action against third parties for infringement
- Rights to obtain damages or payment from third parties for infringement
- Rights to authorize or license third parties to use the mark
- Rights to appeal for confiscation of counterfeit imported goods
How long is the opposition period?
The opposition period will start on the date the application was published and will end three months after that date.
Is Poland a member of the Madrid System?
Yes. Poland is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
No. Periodic statement of use or any filing that will prove the use of mark is not needed.
When should I renew my trademark?
The mark must be renewed every 10 years from the date it was last renewed.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal of the mark will occur ten years from the filing of application date.
Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?
A power of attorney will be needed to renew a trademark.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
A 6-month grace period is available counting from the date the mark has expired.
What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.
With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.
Some symbols to consider:
® Means the trademark is registered.
TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?
There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.
A patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.
You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.
Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.
A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.
What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?
You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.
- TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
- SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
- ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
- ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
- Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
What are trademark classes?
Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories. When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity.
There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the 'Nice International Classification'.
These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics.
Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes. It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.
You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search
Why do I need to perform a trademark search?
Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name?
Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation.
It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class. That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.
Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?
No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find professional help. Our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list identical and similar trademarks, and finally, it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Where can I perform a trademark search?
If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.
Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended for many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.
A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.
You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.