The Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (Urząd Patentowy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej – UPRP) is about to launch an electronic alert service designed to inform proprietors of impending expiry of their trade marks. This development stems from a recent amendment to the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law. The amendment implements Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks.1 Under Article 54 of the directive, Poland was obliged to transpose its provisions into national law within three years of its publication, i.e. no later than on 14 January 2019 (the directive came into force on the twentieth day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union). According to Article 49.2 of the directive, „the office shall inform the proprietor of the trade mark of the expiry of the registration at least six months before the said expiry. The office shall not be held liable if it fails to give such information.”
The e-alert service notifying trade mark proprietors of renewal fee payment deadlines is to be launched in January 2019. According to a recent release by the Polish patent office, the first alerts will concern rights that expire in the latter half of 2019. Trade mark proprietors willing to receive electronic notifications should first register their supplementary contact details with the patent office – the application form may be downloaded from the UPRP website. The required data comprise information identifying the trade mark holder and their representative, as well as the application or registration number to which the alerts should relate. While pursuant to Article 49.2 of Directive 2015/2436 the patent office is obliged to notify the holder of the expiration of the trade mark registration without prior request, one should bear in mind that the very same provision exempts the office from liability should it fail to give the holder such information. The office’s release clarifies that applications will facilitate communication with regard to the provision of the e-alert service. Applications may be filed electronically (via ePUAP, the government-supported platform) or in writing.
It may be added that similar services relating to trade marks and industrial designs have long been offered by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).