Amended Polish Industrial Property Law
According to the new regulations implemented into the Polish Industrial Property Act, the trademark rights holders will have more tools to fight against trademarks infringers.
In addition to extension of the trademark definition, these amendments also apply to the revolutionary – in our opinion – setting of the liability of entities providing services to infringers of trademark rights.
An owner of the trademark protection right will be entitled to pursue claims not only against an direct infringer but also against the person (entity) whose services were used in breach of the trademark protection law. Service providers referred to in this legal act have not been defined in any way by the legislator. Therefore, this group can include landowners or owners of places and areas where the rights are violated, entities involved in the chain of supply, media suppliers, as well as all other entities providing services to direct violators. The future proceedings and judgments will show how “entities providing services to infringers” should be defined by parties and authorities.
Pursuant to these new regulations, the following claims may be brought against entities providing services to infringers, as well as against a direct infringer:
- A demand to cease and desist the infringement,
- A claim to reimburse unjustified profits,
- A claim to redress the damage (in the event of a culpable violation).
In our opinion this is a huge step in the right direction to counteract the trademark infringers’ crimes. As there were no such regulations in Polish legislation earlier, we find them very attractive and helpful for injured parties. We hope that the introduced regulations will support the fight against intermediaries offering their services in places commonly considered as the basins of counterfeit trade – like Wólka Kosowska, Rzgów and border flea markets. Owners and administrators of these areas, deriving lucrative profits from their counterparties' criminal activity, will no longer stay unpunished.