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Intellectual property during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 10, 2020

The Polish Parliament adopted an act on the so-called anti-crisis shield, which contains special legal regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The act, among others, regulates in a special way issues related to civil and administrative proceedings, as well as proceedings before the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, and thus also issues concerning, among others, intellectual property rights.

We present the most important issues, and in case of any questions, please contact us.

  1. Deadlines in the proceedings before the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, for:

–           filing trademark oppositions and

–           filing translations of the European patent into Polish, as well as the deadlines for filing translation of the limited or modified European patent into Polish, which fell in the period from 8 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 shall not start and commenced shall be interrupted. The deadlines shall run again from 1 July 2020. Therefore, the first day of all the above dates will be 1 July 2020. The three-month opposition period and the translation period for the European patent will therefore expire on 1 October 2020. (Article 31j of the Act)

However, actions may be taken during this period and will be valid.

  1. Administrative deadlines, of a so-called material nature, i.e. such deadlines which condition existence of legal protection, do not start and commenced shall be suspended during the period of an epidemic emergency or a state of epidemic declared due to COVID-19 (Article 15zzr of the Act).

In particular, the mentioned deadlines are:

–           to reach a settlement in trademark opposition proceedings;

–           to pay the fee for the first and next terms of protection;

–           to file oppositions in connection with patents, utility and industrial designs;

–           motions for supplementary right.

  1. The procedural deadlines for civil, administrative and criminal proceedings do not start and commenced shall be suspended during the period of an emergency or epidemic declared due to COVID-19 (Article 15 zzs of the Act).

In particular, the mentioned deadlines are:

–           to supplement trademark/patent/designs applications;

–           to send a revised version of the list of goods;

–           to pay trademark application fee;

–           to reply to first refusal of granting protection to a trademark;  

–           to supplement the trademark opposition if it does not meet formal requirements;

A suspension of the deadlines, which according to the Act is valid from March 31 2020, means that after stopping the above mentioned states, the deadlines continue after a break and do not run anew.

International deadlines are not governed by Polish law and therefore run normally. They are not suspended or interrupted.

In the Polish Patent Office the hearings are suspended. New dates will be set after termination of the pandemic period.

  1. There are no hearings in civil courts. Material deadlines run and procedural ones have been suspended (as described above). The courts hear urgent cases, i.e. from the application for interim injunctions.

 

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