Cumulative protection of designs in Polish law – recent judgement issued by the Polish Supreme Court (“bunk bed” case)

Industrial design work product may be subject to protection beyond industrial property legislation specially intended for industrial designs. Selecting the right legal instruments can be crucial in order to achieve the expected level of effectiveness. The Polish Supreme Court analyses these issues extensively in its latest judgement (case no. II CSK 282/15), issued in cassation appeal proceedings.

The case in question concerned enforcement of rights under a registered industrial design by a manufacturer of children’s bunk beds, and a cease and desist claim due to an act of unfair competition.

In its judgement the Supreme Court has discussed the basic provisions of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 – Industrial Property Law (text: ISAP) defining the scope of design protection. The Court has addressed the notion of an ‘informed user’, as well as the ‘prior-user’ defense as provided in the above mentioned statute.

Interestingly the Court has also deliberated on the possible protection against parasitic competition based on the ‘general clause’ of art. 3 Sec. 1 of the Polish Act of 16 April 1993 on Combating the Unfair Competition (text: ISAP).

See more in NEWS: Copyright protection for designs under Polish law…

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