Latest updates

New film production support scheme launched
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Poland
  • 22 March 2019

Under a new financial support scheme, the Polish Film Institute will now offer cash rebates as a form of support for the production of feature films, documentaries, animated films and TV series. The general aims of the scheme are to assist the audiovisual market, attract foreign capital, support the production of films in Poland and promote the country and its cultural heritage abroad.

Constitutional Tribunal deems information claim mechanism unconstitutional
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 18 February 2019

The Constitutional Tribunal recently found that the information claim mechanism provided for in the Industrial Property Law does not comply with the Constitution. Following the tribunal's ruling, the scope of the legal mechanisms to obtain information to determine the scale of an IP infringement has been reduced. However, the decision also makes it possible to protect entrepreneurs from the unjustified and unnecessary disclosure of business secrets.

The Witcher author uses 'bestseller clause' to request additional remuneration
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 19 November 2018

Andrzej Sapkowski, a well-known Polish writer and author of The Witcher fantasy saga, recently requested additional remuneration of at least Z60 million from CD Projekt for a video game based on his work. Following the game's worldwide success, Sapkowski claimed under Article 44 of the Copyright Act that the remuneration granted to him was too low relative to the benefits derived from the exploitation of his work.

Audiovisual works and problems with copyright law
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 17 September 2018

The Copyright Law provides no legal definition of what constitutes an 'audiovisual work', which has resulted in problems regarding the remuneration of authors and the role of collective management organisations in this context. The practical issues concerning remuneration for the use of audiovisual works underline the need to amend the Copyright Law, as the existing legislative gaps cannot be resolved by case law alone.

Changes to tax deductible expenses for authors
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Corporate Tax
  • Poland
  • 06 July 2018

The Act of 27 October 2017 amending the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, the Corporate Income Tax Act and the Flat Income Tax on Certain Revenues Performed by Individuals Act amended the PIT Act to introduce categories of creative activity which entitle authors to settle 50% of their tax deductible expenses and doubled the annual limit of tax deductible expenses. Following doubts over the shortcoming of the amendments, the legislature decided to remedy their scope.

Implementing EU Trade Secrets Directive into Polish legal system
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 16 April 2018

The Polish legislature is in the process of implementing the EU Trade Secrets Directive. The new legislation is considered to be generally compliant with the directive and is likely to come into force on June 9 2018. While the legislature should be praised for its attempt to implement the directive on time, work appears to be progressing too quickly in order to discover and eliminate possible deficiencies and guarantee the directive's full implementation.

Social security contributions of self-employed managers
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Poland
  • 17 January 2018

Social security contributions in Poland are significant, particularly in the case of highly paid managers. As a result, it is common practice for managers to perform their duties as self-employed persons under management contracts. A recent Supreme Court decision confirmed that management contracts can still be performed by self-employed managers and that such business activity constitutes a basis for social security insurance if the manager is not a management board member.

New act on collective management of copyright and related rights
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 15 January 2018

There is an urgent need to improve the collective management system in Poland. The recent proposed introduction of the extended collective licensing model offers a chance to solve the existing legal and practical problems, but any such change should be considered and consistent with the whole collective management system in order to avoid further complications and the creation of new weaknesses in the legal framework.

Supreme Court decides that employers can demand information on employees' additional work activities
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Poland
  • 25 October 2017

The Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer can demand that an employee inform it of any additional activities that he or she undertakes during the employment period. If the employee fails to do so, this can justify his or her employment contract being terminated upon notice. The judgment confirms the court's existing position in this regard. However, the court's second conclusion concerning data protection is new and may raise doubts regarding its compliance with the Labour Code.

Can Polish patents be limited in invalidity proceedings?
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 23 October 2017

There is a need for Polish patent law to provide for an explicit procedure that allows for the amendment of patent claims during invalidity proceedings. Although two theoretical options exist, the lack of well-established case law means that their viability remains uncertain. However, it is hoped that the admissibility of these options will be assessed by the Patent Office and the courts in the near future, as patent holders have become more interested in exploiting less obvious means of defending their patents.

Reform of justice system may result in controversial changes to protection software
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 14 August 2017

The legislature recently adopted changes that could be of major importance for entities that provide IT systems to the courts and judicial authorities. According to the Act amending the Act on the Common Court System, the minister of justice will acquire the right to decide unilaterally whether judicial authorities can use software if an important state or justice interest requires an efficiency of performance or continuity of operation and an agreement with a copyright holder is troublesome.

Changes to employment of temporary workers introduced
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Poland
  • 05 July 2017

The Act Amending the Act on the Employment of Temporary Workers and Certain Other Acts recently entered into force. It introduces important changes and limitations concerning temporary work and aims to improve the temporary work market and counteract abusive practices. The amendment concerns all employers that hire temporary workers.

Calculating amount of benefits unlawfully obtained from trademark infringement
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 29 May 2017

Under the Industrial Property Law, a rights holder may demand that an infringer surrender any benefits obtained unlawfully by way of trademark infringement. In practice, calculating the amount of profits can be challenging. While the amount of profits should be calculated on a case-by-case basis, there are some general principles that should be considered.

Is doctrine of equivalents accepted by Polish courts?
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 20 March 2017

The Industrial Property Law does not explicitly mention the possibility of assessing patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. However, the doctrine seems to be gaining support among legal commentators and judges. The admissibility of the doctrine of equivalents in Poland has long been the subject of lively discussion, which may soon be concluded with definite answers.

Definitive end to controversial calculation of double and triple damages for copyright infringement?
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 09 January 2017

Article 79(1)(3)(b) of the Copyright Act allows a rights holder to demand double the amount of damages for an infringement or, if the infringement was culpable, three times the amount of appropriate remuneration. This regulation was partly invalidated by the Constitutional Tribunal in mid-2015, and the European Court of Justice advocate general recently delivered an opinion that this provision may not agree with the EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EC).

Commercial use of national symbols
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 01 August 2016

The commercial use of 'artistically processed' national symbols is allowed in Poland. However, it is recommended that any changes to such symbols are made visible, to comply with the law and that ensure their use is not disrespectful. Further, parties intending to use a national symbol in a commercial way should be aware that obtaining protection for a trademark that includes a reference to a national symbol will likely be impossible.

Use of famous SOLIDARITY sign allowed in music video
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 23 May 2016

A judgment was recently delivered on the admissibility of using the SOLIDARITY sign in artistic activity. The figurative sign, which represents the trade union Solidarity, gained international recognition due to the crucial role that Solidarity played in the Polish transition to democracy. The court decided that the unauthorised use of this sign in the music video "I hate you, Poland" did not infringe Solidarity's copyrights or harm its interests and reputation.

Court should wait until validity of industrial design is decided
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 04 April 2016

In a recent judgment concerning an alleged industrial design infringement, the Supreme Court redefined the principles of protection of industrial designs in Poland. The court deliberately deviated from well-established case law and decided that the courts should not address the question of infringement of a Polish industrial design until the validity has been decided in administrative proceedings.

Patent office to cease examining relative grounds for refusal
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 01 February 2016

Recent amendments to the Industrial Property Law resulted in the Patent Office moving from a relative examination system to an absolute examination system for trademark applications. The decision to eliminate relative examination is an example of the ongoing harmonisation of EU trademark practice and it is hoped that it will shorten the trademark registration process significantly.

Upcoming changes to Industrial Property Law
Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak
  • Intellectual Property
  • Poland
  • 23 November 2015

Significant amendments to the Industrial Property Law will enter into force in December, bringing important changes to the patent, trademark and industrial design regulations to ensure compliance with European standards. Among the patent regulation amendments are the introduction of a disclosure of inventions grace period, a clear and complete disclosure requirement and changes to biotechnological invention patent claims.