Copyright protection for designs under Polish law – important judgement issued by the Polish Supreme Court (“grave candle” case)

In trade, products which are based on industrial designs are becoming more and more popular, and a growing reputation and market position are also making the legal instruments used to protect them more important. In this case copyright law provides particularly effective instruments.

The question of whether a particular design qualifies for protection under copyright is addressed in a recent ruling by the Polish Supreme Court (case no. V CSK 202/13). The ruling was issued with respect to a dispute between a renowned manufacturer of graveside candles and lanterns based in the Netherlands and its main Polish competitor, which had graveside lanterns on offer of similar design and which could be mistaken for products the Netherlands-based company was seeking to protect in court.
In that ruling Polish Supreme Court has not only analyzed the basic statutory requirements defining the ‘work’ as an object of copyright – art. 1 Sec. 1 of the Polish Copyright Act (text: ISAP), but also discussed the application of the provisions of the Polish Act of 16 April 1993 on Combating the Unfair Competition (text: ISAP), that prevents ‘slavish imitation’ in its art. 13.

See more in NEWS: Cumulative protection of designs in Polish law…

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