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Annual Technical Report on Trademark Information Activities in 2020 submitted by Poland

I. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TRADEMARK INFORMATION ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Outline of main policies and plans aimed at development of trademark information activities and expected time frames for their realization

In the first quarter of 2020, the PPO launched a new electronic services platform (PUEUP), and electronic services under this project were expanded in the third quarter of that year. The main goal of the project was to provide customers with new platforms for the provision of electronic services. The whole system includes the following modules that were fully implemented from the design phase to production and delivered with the infrastructure:

  • e-Baza-Wiedzy(e-Knowledge Base),
  • e-Profil(e-Profile),
  • e-Rejestry(e-Registers),
  • e-Wyszukiwarka(e-Search),
  • e-Powiadomienia(e-Notifications),
  • e-Płatności(e-Payments).

The PPO plans to expand the functionalities of the aforementioned PUEUP modules in accordance with the needs and expectations of customers and users of the platform.

With the launch of the new e-Profile module, the following forms were started:

  • Application for a protection right for a trademark,
  • Application for granting the right in registration for an industrial design,
  • Application for granting a patent for an invention,
  • Application for a protection right for a utility model,
  • European patent validation,
  • Opposition to a trademark application,
  • Application for the publication of information on the invention / utility model at an earlier date,
  • Application for a priority document,
  • Response to the provision on the listing of goods and services,
  • Application for entry in the register (change of the authorized entity),
  • Indication of the goods for which the right of protection for a trademark is renewed,
  • Application for entry in the register (entry of information about the granted license),
  • Application for entry of a civil / registered pledge,
  • Application for an extract from the register,
  • Contact details form for notifications about the date of payment for the extension of the protection of exclusive rights,
  • General Correspondence form.

In addition to the forms available in ePUAP, customers of the PPO can submit applications on the forms available in the PUEUP e-Profile module, which is integrated with the Electronic Document Management System EZD.

In relation to launching the PUEUP platform, the services previously provided by the PPO were excluded and their functionalities were transferred to the PUEUP platform, i.e.

  • Publication Server,
  • Register Plus for trademarks,
  • Online Services Portal.

In 2020, the PPO continued to maintain the Intranet system based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise software.

The PPO continued to maintain Patent Attorneys and Applicants List searchable. Only small adjustments in the data structure were introduced and the system was adopted to existing legislation.

The PPO continued to provide public data concerning the protection of industrial property, publications as well as information on patent attorneys, etc. The address of the website on which we publish the data has changed, currently it is https://dane.gov.pl/pl

Due to the launch of the PUEUP platform, the data sent to this portal comes from the e-Search module.

The PPO still maintained separate official publications of Bulletin of the Patent Office (BUP) for trademarks, inventions and utility models.

In 2020, the BackOffice system for trademarks and industrial designs was maintained, implementing various changes at the request of end users. Projected BackOffice activities for 2021 include the analysis and possible implementation of business functionalities (based on the community version). Concurrently, further system screening and potential upgrades of the technology stack will be continued.

In 2020, the PPO implemented new version of Acsepto 11 for new trademarks - Acsepto contains bibliographic data and images concerning national, international and community trademarks.

New projects launched or resumed this year in the context of the policies and plans mentioned above, short description: aims, partners, tasks

In 2020, The BackOffice system for trademarks and industrial designs was upgraded. Works were focused on the technological area: “BO Technical Stack Upgrade” (also known as BO TSU) and included refreshment of old modules and technologies. System was maintained, implementing different changes at the request by end users too. In 2020, new interfaces for the new Acsepto version were prepared.

In 2020 the new Electronic Services Platform (PUEUP) was launched. In total, 7 electronic services were implemented:

  • e-Registry - viewing the entries entered in the registry and obtaining an excerpt from registry;
  • EP Validation - obtaining protection on the territory of Poland;
  • Expiration Date Notification - informing about the expiration date of protection;
  • Information Subscription - searching for information in defined sources maintained by UPRP (including automatic notifications based on user criteria);
  • e-Filing - applying for trademarks, patents, industrial designs registration to obtain an IP protection;
  • e-Submission - handling electronic correspondence during the whole IP lifecycle of trademarks, patents and industrial designs;
  • Changes in registry - management of records changes in registry (e.g. in case of extension of the protection, updating the owners, resignation from protection, changes in rights, pledges, licenses, etc.).

As part of the PUEUP platform, the e-Search module was launched, which contains in one place all documents published by Polish Patent Office: WUP(VLO), BUP, Polish patent specifications, Polish utility models, Polish industrial designs and patent translations into Polish published by the European Patent Office which are valid in the territory of Poland were gathered in separate document libraries in PDF format.

In 2020, as part of organizing the publishers of BUP and VLO and related documents (patent descriptions, descriptions of utility models, descriptions of industrial designs, descriptions of translations of European patents), a page of the PPO Bulletin and News was prepared on the PUEUP platform (under the Act on industrial property). The data was divided into years, months and publication numbers of BUP and VLO. For the VLO publication under the publication number, links to the descriptions lists in the e-Search were implemented.

Link to the website: https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/publikacje/biuletyn-i-wiadomosci-uprp

In 2020, the PPO trademark examiners participated in the working groups of EUIPO concerning various aspects of trademarks, namely: 

CP8: Use of a trademark in a form differing from the one registered

Polish trademark examiners participate in the project working group along with the representatives from other European national offices, EUIPO, and users association.  The main goal of the project is to deliver a set of principles and examples on the use of a trade mark in a form differing from the one registered by taking into account the impact of additions, omissions, and modifications of characteristics on the distinctive character of registered word marks, purely figurative marks and composite marks (combination of verbal and figurative elements).

CP9: Common Communication on Distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself

The scope of the Common Practice is the assessment of the overall inherent distinctiveness of shape marks consisting of a non-distinctive shape of the goods themselves, packaging or containers, and other elements to which the shape mark extends, within absolute grounds examination.

CP11: New types of trade mark: Examination of formal requirements and grounds for refusal and invalidity

Polish trademark examiners participate in the project working group along with the representatives from other European national offices, EUIPO, and users association.  The main goal of the project is to deliver a set of principles and illustrative examples on the examination of formal requirements and grounds for refusal or invalidity of new types of trade mark, by taking into account the impact of the elimination of the graphical representation in the new TMD.

CP12: Evidence in Trade Mark Appeal Proceedings: filing, structure and presentation of evidence, and the treatment of confidential evidence

Polish trademark examiners participate in the project working group along with the representatives from other European national offices, EUIPO, and users association.  The main goal of the project is to identify general principles regarding evidence in trade mark appeal proceedings, in particular its types, means, sources and identification of relevant dates, as well as its structure and presentation, and the treatment of confidential evidence.

Main areas of trademark information activities and related information and communication technology (ICT) practices which were in the focus of attention last year

In 2020 the functionality of search systems, which are in the portfolio of the Office (Search System of Industrial Properties, Publication Server, Register Plus for trademarks, etc.) was replaced with the e-Search module.

Statistics: changes in terms of application filings and registrations with respect to previous year; trends or areas experiencing rapid changes

In 2020, the Polish Patent Office received in total 14,192 trademark applications under the national procedure, including 13,541 applications from domestic entities, and 651 from foreign entities.  A slight decline of 0.3% was recorded in comparison with 2019, when 14,228 trademark applications under national procedure were received (out of which 13,294 from domestic and 934 from foreign entities).

The number of trademark registration rights in force on 31 December 2020 was 155,275 (under national procedure).  On 31 December 2019, the figure was lower and stood at 150,934.

Other matters and useful links (URLs): annual report of the Office, news page, statistics, etc.

Statistics are accessed at the following URLs:

https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/o-urzedzie/statystyki  (Statistics and Annual Reports)

This page consists of:

News page: https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/aktualnosci

II. SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO TRADEMARK INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Information and support provided by the Office to applicants regarding filing on paper and/or e-filing (instructions, seminars, etc.) - URLs

The  PPO information and support options in 2020 included:

1) Via website: https://uprp.gov.pl (all information about patents, trademarks, designs, etc. and instructions e.g. "How to patent an invention or protect a utility model?");

2) Via telephone: (+48 22 579 05 55);

3) Via e-mail: https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/centrum-informacji

4) Via virtual information service window (Webex platform): https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/wirtualne-okno-obslugi-informacyjnej

5) Directly in the Front Office of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland at the Cambridge Innovation Centre - Warsaw: https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/aktualnosci/informacje/front-office-urzedu-patentowego-rp-w-kampusie-innowacji##googtrans(pl|en)

Management of the contacts in 2020 (phone + mail) was performed through software:

1)      Personal contacts (CRM system):

- 666 meetings in PPO Front Office

- 46 meetings via virtual window (from August 2020)

- 12 meetings in PPO Front Office in Cambridge Innovation Centre (from August 2020, 2 hours a week)

(Patents and utility models: 190, Trademarks: 402, Industrial designs: 27)

2)      Within Register IP Info Center customer contacts (OSCC, CRM systems);

6 933 emails were received

24 962 calls were answered and performed (including the call back - 604) 

(Patents and utility models: 4085, Trademarks: 14433, Industrial designs: 716)

64 meetings took place with examiners and at the Center of information 

3)      Identification  and differentiation of customers (OSCC, CRM systems);

4)      Carrying out customer satisfaction surveys (CRM system) - level of satisfaction 96%;

5)      Analyses of  the contacts (analyses, statistics - CRM, OSCC systems);

6)      Keeping records and transferring customer requests (satisfaction, complaints, suggestions for improvement) (TRX system);

7)    Sending e-notifications about the expiry of the protection period of industrial property rights (PUEUP system):  15 876

The CRM system is shared between 15 departments in contact with the public. A change of version was introduced for:

- independent work with the contact, regardless of the fact who established the contact and possibility to change/edit the contact data;

- interfacing with other applications (Computer Telephony Integration, callback, meetings time and visits, virtual information service window and live-chat)  to facilitate the customer relation management. Tool for measuring the customers’ satisfaction. IP Info Center has a non-verbal communication system to improve information service for deaf and hard hearing customers.

Availability of the application dossier in electronic form

Customers using PUEUP have access to application files which are sent electronically to the PPO. Customers may also use the forms available in the e-Profile module in order to submit applications in electronic form.

Matters concerning classifying
(i) Classification and reclassification activities; classification systems used, e.g., International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification), other classification
(ii) Use of electronic classification systems and pre-defined terms of the classification applied

The Polish Patent Office uses the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification) 11th 2019 edition (the Polish version of Nice Classification is downloaded from WIPO websites once a month) as well as International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification) 8th edition.

During the procedure, the Office's staff amends the goods and services classes.

III. SOURCES OF TRADEMARK INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE

Main types of publications in the field of trademark information, outline of the content and medium (on paper, on CDs, online - URLs)

In 2020, the following publications were issued:

- “Biuletyn Urzędu Patentowego. Znaki towarowe” (Bulletin of the Patent Office – Trademarks) – weekly (in electronic form on the Office’s website) (https://uprp.gov.pl/plpublikacje/biuletyn-i-wiadomosci-uprp );

- “Wiadomości Urzędu Patentowego” (Communications of the Patent Office) – monthly, and from May 2020 – biweekly (in electronic form on the Office’s website) (https://uprp.gov.pl/plpublikacje/biuletyn-i-wiadomosci-uprp );

- 2019 Annual Report of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland – in electronic form on the Office’s website (https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/publikacje/raport-roczny-uprp ) and 395 copies on paper;

Information on trademarks is also available on the website of the Office:

Official Gazettes: main types of announcements, frequency of publication, medium (on paper, on CDs, online, URL), etc.

Both parts of the official publications of the Polish Patent Office's ("Bulletin of the Patent Office"(BUP): applications for national trademarks and “Communications of the Patent Office” (WUP): registered national trademarks and international registrations of trademarks approved in Poland) which contain announcements regarding trademarks are forthwith available free of charge in PDF format on the webpage: https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/publikacje/biuletyn-i-wiadomosci-uprp

In 2020, there were 11,874 announcements on trademark applications published in “Bulletin of the Patent Office. Trademarks” and 7,218 announcements on registered trademarks published in “Communications of the Patent Office”.

Announcements regarding non-procedural matters, but connected with the Office's activity like: general information on the PPO's tasks, references, organizational structure, HR matters are published on the Internet version of "Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej" (Public Information Bulletin) on the official PPO's website.  Many non-regular, important announcements are immediately published on the website.

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) available to examiners, including external documentation and databases

In 2020, the following information products were available to examiners:

  • e-Search provides simple (full-text) search, advanced (deterministic) search and searching in collections of documents (PDF). The e-Search module contains bibliographic data and a list of collections:
    • Trademarks,
    • Inventions,
    • European Patents,
    • Supplementary Protection Certificate,
    • Utility Models,
    • Industrial Designs,
    • Topographies of Integrated Circuits.

The data is published free of charge on the website https://ewyszukiwarka.pue.uprp.gov.pl/search/simple-search (user interface in Polish, English and French).

  • Separate Internet applications enable the presentation of Nice and Vienna classifications in Polish and are available at: https://grab.uprp.pl/Klasyfikacje/Strony%20witryny/Klasyfikacje.aspx.
  • Data on trademarks data stored in specialized internal databases of the PPO called BackOffice in which image information and bibliographic details are stored.

The Polish Patent Office uses external databases, such as:

  • MedNet - INN database (International Nonproprietary Names) available on the pages http://mednet.who.int/inn, free of charge
  • E-Ambrosia (https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/food-safety-and-quality/certification/quality-labels/geographical-indications-register/ ) is a public database which gives easy access to information on all EU Geographical Indications (GI), including their status (applied, published or registered), their product specifications, and direct link to the legal basis when they are officially protected. By summer 2019, it included EU GI spirit drinks, by the end of 2019, all EU GI agri-food products were part of eAmbrosia. It was designed to replace the previous databases for wine (e-Bacchus), spirits (e-Spirit-Drinks) and food (Door), eAmbrosia includes an easily searchable and intuitive interface. This new system simplified the search for information about Geographical Indications and increased transparency for producers, national authorities and anyone curious about European GIs.
  • NATIONAL PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION - COBORU (coboru.pl), free of charge
  • COMMUNITY PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION - CPVO (cpvo.europa.eu), free of charge

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) and services available to external users; conditions of access (e.g., free of charge, subscription, etc.)

Online sources of trademarks information include:

- e-Search provides simple (full-text) search, advanced (deterministic) search and searching in collections of documents (PDF). https://ewyszukiwarka.pue.uprp.gov.pl/search/simple-search

The PPO provides access to trademark data in the reading room where external users can also search free of charge in online databases and databases on CD and DVD.

Legal status information (kind of information, coverage, medium, etc.)

In order to make entries on the legal status of exclusive rights protected on the territory of Poland, the trademark register is held.  The register includes information necessary to establish the subject and scope of protection (e.g. date of filing, title), entity (or entities) entitled to rights concerning a given subject of protection (e.g. holders, licensees, securities, seizure) and other useful information (e.g. applications for revocation). Everyone who submits a relevant application and pays a fee to the account of the Office can obtain excerpts from the register.

Information on the legal status is available in e-Search at: https://ewyszukiwarka.pue.uprp.gov.pl/search/simple-search

The examiners at the Polish Patent Office use external legal databases, like:

IV. ICT SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO TRADEMARK INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Specific software tools supporting business procedures within the Office: general description, characteristics, advantages, possible improvements

ACSEPTO is a primary system of searching and examining trademarks, a tool that integrates many types of IT resources in order to enable searching for registered trademarks through the national route, international registrations, Community Trademarks, appellations of origin, pharmaceutical names, materials under Art. 6th of the Paris Convention.

The BackOffice is the main system for managing the procedures for granting and maintaining rights to trademarks and industrial designs in the PPO. BackOffice is the source system for many databases (search engines) and it is interconnected with other systems in  the PPO.

Hardware used to supporting business processes of the Office

The PPO uses workstations and notebooks with Microsoft Windows 10; multimedia tablets with Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows 10 Pro; physical servers with Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Standard and virtual servers using Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Datacenter with Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019 installed, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10/11/12, CentOS Linux 5/6/7/8, Oracle Linux 5/6/7, Debian GNU/Linux 6/7/8 and Ubuntu Server LTS, RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.x/8.x; hypervisor servers with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

All of workstations, notebooks and servers are secured by Symantec antivirus.

All network connections are based on Cisco, FortiNet and Extreme Networks equipment with 500 Mb/s redundant access to the Internet (two separate Internet connections). The availability of services published on the Internet is supported by the FortiNet WAF cluster and Barracuda Load Balancer cluster. Security is also provided by McAfee IPS and Fidelis Cybersecurity and Forcepoint antispam systems.

The server infrastructure is supported by local UPSs and secured by the main power supply unit for the PPO. The main IT infrastructure units are located in a secure server room equipped with a fire alarm, CCTV system, redundant air-conditioning and a technical floor.

Internal databases: coverage, updates, interlinks with external sources

Trademark data is stored in specialized, regularly updated internal databases in which image information and bibliographic details are stored, for example:

  • The BackOffice system,
  • Databases supporting the process of publishing trademarks.

Most production databases are hosted by Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Enterprise and MySQL Server 4/5, PostgreSQL 9.

Establishment and maintenance of electronic search file: file building, updating, storage, documents from other offices included in the search file

EUTM, IR (designated to EM and PL) and 6ter data are stored and accessed via Acsepto search system, IR (designated to PL) are stored and accessed via BackOffice system.

Administrative management electronic systems (register, legal status, statistics, and administrative support)

BackOffice is a workflow-based system for dealing with trademarks and designs throughout the entire lifecycle of the process, from application to registration and publication. It also streamlines the working process by enabling users to create and monitor correspondence with clients. It is adopted to work together with Electronic Document Management System (EZD) which facilitates the processing of incoming and outgoing correspondence. External users have access to registers and information on legal status via the e-Search module. Settlement Module (MR) is used as a supplementary system for managing fees and payments.

Other matters

The PPO maintained a professional call centre service based on Unify OpenScape Contact Centre Enterprise software and a new system of customer relationship management based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 365 software.

The EZD system was integrated with The BackOffice in the field of exchanging correspondence and information about entities.

The public information request lists are stored in the EZD system.

The leading office software used for word processing and spreadsheet was: Microsoft Office 2016 Standard & Professional Plus and Apache OpenOffice 4.

In 2020, the PPO maintained the Data Protection System in order to protect and control trademark data to avoid uncontrolled outflow or unwanted access.

V. PROMOTION ACTIVITIES AIMED TO SUPPORT USERS IN ACCESS AND EFFICIENT USE OF TRADEMARK INFORMATION

Publications related to different business procedures and trademark information sources available to users, for example, books, brochures, Internet publications, etc.

Within the framework of promotion of knowledge on industrial property the Patent Office issues various publications such as guides, informational-promotional brochures addressed to wide audience, among others to entrepreneurs, students, school youth.  Those publications are available free of charge both in electronic version and PDF format as well as on paper on the premises of the Office. 

Publication titles are as follows: Your world of intellectual property, What is intellectual property, Inventor's guide, Trademarks in MSEs activity, Use the past to create future, Industrial protection in a nutshell, Inventions in your house, to name a few.

Cooperation with universities, technology and innovation support centers, etc.

The Patent Office collaborates with various institutions in promoting knowledge on intellectual property (organisation of conferences, workshops, trainings, patronage of the PPO President over numerous initiatives etc.).

In 2020, the Office collaborated with the following entities, to name a few:

- collaboration with universities (Jagiellonian University in Kraków, University of Warsaw, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, University of Łódź, Łódź University of Technology, Kielce University of Technology, Kraków University of Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Wrocław University of Technology, AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, etc.);

- collaboration with science and business-related institutions, including The National Centre for Research and Development, Łukasiewicz Research Network, Association of Polish Inventors and Rationalisers, Polish Federation of Engineering Associations (NOT), Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys; National Information Processing Institute, National Chamber of Commerce, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, Institute of Industrial Design, Institute of Aviation, Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, Kielce Technology Park, Agency for Industrial Development S.A., etc.;

- collaboration with governmental administration institutions: Ministry of National Education (currently Ministry of Education and Science), Ministry of Development (currently Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology), Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (currently Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport), Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, as well as local government authorities.

Education and training: training courses, e-learning modules (URLs), seminars, exhibitions, etc.

In 2020, the PPO organised, among others, the following events:

  • Conference “Mediation and arbitrage in disputes concerning intellectual property” (4 February);
  • Webinar “Intellectual Property for Start-ups” (31 March);
  • IP Day webinars on the occasion of the World IP Day (23-27 April);
  • 13th International Conference on Innovation and Creativity in Economy (29-30 June);
  • Conference and a series of training courses: “Intellectual Property Courts – changes in the Polish legal system” (24 September, 16 and 26 October);
  • Two online meetings for researchers (21 October, 17 November);
  • Training courses for journalists on how to write articles and present information on industrial property protection (6 and 13 November)
  • 18th edition of the annual competition for the best artistic poster as well postdoctoral, doctoral, master’s and student’s theses on the subject of industrial property protection and the 8th edition of a short movie and press release competition.

In 2020, the PPO published information in the e-Knowledge Base module on a specially prepared Educational Platform (Educational Platform, current address https://uprp.gov.pl/pl/platforma-edukacyjna) which is a compendium of knowledge about intellectual property issues. The target group includes enterprises (especially MSEs) and businesses related to public institutions (including schools of higher education) and other entities.

  • The Knowledge Zone includes information, publications and other materials addressed both to entities with advanced knowledge on IP issues as well as those ones looking for basic information on IP protection, procedures and management.
  • The training zone consists of 2 parts: beginner user and advanced user. For these users, training in intellectual property protection is available, which ends with a test verifying the acquired knowledge.

The Patent Information Centre Forum was prepared, a platform for exchanging experiences, knowledge, comments and opinions between Patent Information Centres and the Office.

Other activities

In 2020, the PPO maintained a special Seventica service for non-verbal communication (using the service, the sounds of human language are immediately translated into sign language on a computer or tablet). The aim of the project was to remove communication barriers among people with hearing deficiency.

VI. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF TRADEMARK INFORMATION

International exchange of trademark information in machine-readable form (e.g., Official Gazettes)

Information on Community Trademarks was downloaded using XML data, which was then transferred to the search systems of the PPO.

The XML trademark files were downloaded from WIPO and were also transferred to the search systems of the PPO.

The PPO maintained its own service for collecting Nice classification data from the WIPO website. All changes to the Polish version of the Nice classification were implemented in the WIPO system and then copied to a special dedicated application that would be presented to Polish users.

VII. OTHER RELATED MATTERS

www.uprp.gov.pl