A notification of conflicting trademarks in Poland

For an application for a trademark subject to promulgation, the Polish Patent Office prepares a notice of the existence of identical or similar marks with prior priority, designated to designate the same or similar goods, and forwards it to the applicant, i.e., the entity seeking protection for the newly filed trademark.

The letter shall include previously disclosed identical or similar trademarks that cover identical or similar classes of goods and services.

The notice is prepared on the basis of a survey conducted through specially prepared databases, and the final results are evaluated by an examiner. The letter mainly details information about prior rights that can be invoked against a trademark application. However, it should be emphasized that this notice is for information only and is not legally binding.

If, on the other hand, the Office does not establish the existence of prior conflicting marks, such notice will not be sent to the applicant. Notwithstanding the above, an opposition may be filed against a trademark application. The notice is only intended to allow the application to be withdrawn or its scope of protection to be limited prior to publication, in order to minimize the risk that protection will not be granted if an opposition is filed.

Such notice shall include information on:

  • applications with an earlier filing date or priority date earlier than the application under consideration,
  • earlier registered trademarks.

In preparing such a notice, the filing date of the application, the word and figurative elements of the trademark, as well as the classes of goods and services are taken into account.

With regard to the specific goods and services of the applied-for mark, the examination is carried out on the basis of the classes according to the Nice classification, which are indicated in the earlier registered marks. Comparisons are made between goods and services belonging to the same class, as well as conflicting classes or complementary goods and services. The examination aims to identify similar or identical earlier marks filed for the same classes or classes containing similar goods and/or services.

The Polish Patent Office, on the other hand, does not refuse to grant protection if identical or similar earlier marks are found.


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Trademark in Poland

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Attorney-at-law Joanna Susło, Ph.D.
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