Poland To Simplify Patent Procedures, Amend Patent Attorney Law 28/10/2016 by Jaroslaw Adamowski for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development has announced it is developing a package of 11 executive ordinances – of which nine are yet to be signed by the minister – to improve the procedures for obtaining trademarks and contacting the Polish Patent Office, reduce the costs of registering and protecting trademarks and industrial designs, and facilitate these procedures for small- and medium-size companies. The executive ordinances are to be issued for three Polish laws which include the law on patent attorneys, the law on industrial property, and law on the terms of approval of the qualifications acquired in other European Union member states, the ministry said in a statement [available here (pdf), in Polish]. In addition to this, legislation on patent attorneys will be modified to reduce the costs of obtaining patents and stimulate competition, according to the ministry. Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development Earlier this year, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki unveiled his flagship Responsible Development Plan, a strategic document designed to identify the key areas in which the government will concentrate its efforts on stimulating increased innovation and economic growth. Changes to the country’s intellectual property legislation are a key component of the plan. One of the key objectives of the changes is to reduce the financial burden of obtaining and protecting trademarks and industrial designs on companies and investors, according to the ministry. “The proposed changes will unify the system of collecting fees for the submission and protection of trademarks, and reduce these fees,” the ministry said [available here (pdf), in Polish]. The nine executive ordinances “are in their last legislative works phase, and we expect that new regulations will enter into force shortly.” Under the plan, the fee for registering a trademark will be reduced from PLN 550 (US$139) to PLN 450 (US$113), the fee for trademark protection will be cut from PLN 450 (US$113) to PLN 400 (US$101), and the fees for industrial design protection will be decreased from PLN 400 (US$101) to PLN 150 (US$38) for the first five-year period, and from PLN 1,000 (US$252) to PLN 250 (US$63) for the second five-year period. Moreover, in a bid to stimulate market competition, the Economic Development Ministry is also planning to amend the law on patent attorneys to scrap the minimum fees which can be collected from their customers. “The planned modification of the regulation will allow to use the cost of services by patent attorneys as an element of [stimulating] competition between patent attorneys. This could impact the quality of services, reducing prices and increasing the availability of this kind of services, in particular for small- and medium-sized companies and individuals,” the ministry said. The amended patent attorney law [available here (pdf), in Polish] will also remove paragraph 2a of Article 1, which allows patent attorneys to invoice their customers the sixfold amount of the minimum fee, should “this be justified by the complexity of a case and the required work of a patent attorney.” The regulatory impact assessment (RIA) document [available here (pdf), in Polish] which accompanies the amended law states that currently, there are 882 registered patent attorneys and about 2 million registered companies in Poland. Data from the state-run Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) suggests that 72 percent of the polled Poland-based entrepreneurs say that they consider the costs related to patent application procedures as the main obstacle to protecting their IP assets. “The information obtained from the Polish Patent Office suggests that a portion of Polish companies use the services of patent attorneys in other countries, mostly in Slovakia and Lithuania, due to the lower fees in these countries,” the RIA said. The ministry’s efforts to deregulate the patent attorney profession are backed by Poland’s Ministry of Science which wants to allow legal counsellors and attorneys to work in this field. The proposal was included in the ministry’s White Paper on Innovation from September 2016 [available here (pdf), in Polish]. According to the document, some of the key proposals put forward by Polish entrepreneurs, scientists and investors in the process of consulting the document included “introducing and increasing the attractiveness of fiscal instruments that stimulate innovativeness by companies, such as patent box” and “enabling legal counselors and lawyers to perform the duties of a patent attorney.” Encouragement, and Doubts “We need more people to work in this profession,” Polish Deputy Science Minister Piotr Dardziński told local business daily Rzeczpospolita [available here, in Polish]. This said, according to Anna Korbela, the president of the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys (PIRP), the proposal “aims to destroy Poland’s innovativeness.” “Attorneys and legal counsellors have several hours of classes on intellectual property during their university education. They will not be able to distinguish the Vienna classification from the Nice classification,” Korbela said [available here, in Polish]. According to the chamber’s president, the current three-year legal training period which is required to become a certified patent attorney is already relatively short. Another proposal included in the white paper regards the establishment of specialised courts dedicated to handling cases related to intellectual property, patent infringement and industrial designs. In addition to this, with the aim to stimulate innovativeness at Polish higher education institution, the Science Ministry suggests to “eliminate or reduce the patent application fees for students and Ph.D. students,” as well as “provide them with support in applying for foreign patent protection.” Meanwhile, one of the executive ordinances that were signed by Poland’s Economic Development Minister last September modified the terms of the state exam, which is currently pre-requisite for becoming a patent attorney. The exam, which was previously both oral and written, will now be solely written, which is expected to “make the grades more objective,” according to the Economic Development Ministry [available here (pdf), in Polish]. Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerstwo_Gospodarki#/media/File:Ministry_of_Economics_-_former_State_Committee_for_Planning.jpg Image Credits: Ministry of Economic Development Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Jaroslaw Adamowski may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Poland To Simplify Patent Procedures, Amend Patent Attorney Law" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.