The procedures governing the administration of industrial property rights, managed by the Polish Patent Office, have to date been regulated by the Industrial Property Law of 30 June 2000 ("IPL").
According to the current status (ie as of 20 October 2015), only a patent attorney may act as a party's representative before the Polish Patent Office in registration proceedings (ie in cases relating to the filing and examination of applications and maintaining protection for inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, geographical indications, and topographies of integrated circuits). By way of exception, a physical person may be also represented by a co-holder, parent, spouse, siblings, descendant of the party, or person in an adoptive relationship.
Notwithstanding the above, a person originating from outside of Poland (ie a person who or an entity that does not have their place of residence or registered office in the Republic of Poland), may act through the mandatory intermediate, namely the patent attorney.
On 5 August 2015, the Polish Parliament revised the abovementioned provisions of the IPL. Based on the amendment which will enter into force on 30 November 2015, an attorney at law will also be entitled to act as the party's representative in registration proceedings concerning trademarks.
Furthermore, the abovementioned rules on representation of persons originating from outside of Poland have also been changed. Now, such parties will be divided by the region of origin. Those originating from outside of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association or the Swiss Confederation, will still need to act through the mandatory representative in registration procedure; however, attorneys at law will also be allowed to serve as such a representative. The rules have also been relaxed for entities originating from within of the abovementioned jurisdictions: as of 30 November 2015, they will be entitled to act directly, just as Poland-located persons already are.