In March 2023 the Polish parliament adopted a number of changes to civil court proceedings. Changes concerning preliminary injunction proceedings in intellectual property matters are particularly worth noting.
Time limit to file a motion for the PI
So far, the time limit for requesting the PI in intellectual property matters has not been regulated by Polish law and courts tend to give different rulings on this subject.
The new regulations finally address the issue of acquiescence and specify that the request for preliminary injunction needs to be filed within six months from the date on which the requesting party became aware of the infringement of their exclusive right. If the request is filed after that deadline, the court will be obliged to dismiss it.
According to the planned amendment, preliminary injunction proceedings will no longer be ex parte proceedings. A court will need to hear the obliged party before granting a PI, unless an immediate decision is necessary. However, there will be certain exceptions to the above rule and in particular there will be no hearing where the injunctions is wholly subject to enforcement by a bailiff or where it consists of establishment of administrative receivership over an enterprise.
Changing the status of IP proceedings to inter partes proceedings is no doubt a controversial change. The main concern is that it may lead to prolonging the PI proceedings as it will lead to discussions between the parties about the necessity of the PI.
New definition of legal interest
In principle, for the PI to be granted the requesting party needs to show so called “legal interest” in being granted the PI, which means showing that the lack of the PI would prevent or significantly hinder the enforcement of a ruling issued in a given case or otherwise prevent or seriously hinder satisfying the purpose of proceedings in a given case.
Under the amendment, when examining the existence of the “legal interest” the court will need to take into account in particular the likelihood that a given exclusive right will be invalidated in a separate ongoing proceedings. The parties will be obliged to provide information on such pending proceedings to the court.
If you are interested in specific regulations which have been summarised in this article, please contact us.
Authored by Ewa Kacperek, Aleksandra Kuc-Makulska, Martyna Sieczka