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Prawo autorskie - copyright / trademark of a business name in Poland


jworlledge 5 | 13
3 Feb 2010  #1
I would like some information about copyrighting a business name, as I plan on the possibility of franchising in the future. Anyone come across this before, know how to search and check names, how to go through the process?

Thanks in advance!
z_darius 14 | 3,969
3 Feb 2010  #2
I would like some information about copyrighting a business name, as I plan on the possibility of franchising in the future.

You might want to look into Trademark law instead. Copyrights eventually expire, while trademarks may be held perpetually.
TheOther 5 | 3,566
3 Feb 2010  #3
You might want to look into Trademark law instead.

A trademark or a registered trademark can be extremely expensive - especially if you want worldwide protection. Not worth it, IMHO. Even a simple copyright might not help you, because the interpretation of copyright law varies from country to country.
jonni 16 | 2,485
3 Feb 2010  #4
For a registered trademark in Poland, you have to pay per letter - so keep it short!
z_darius 14 | 3,969
3 Feb 2010  #5
A trademark or a registered trademark can be extremely expensive - especially if you want worldwide protection. Not worth it, IMHO.

If the business is successful, the loss of trademark would be much more expensive than registering its trademark.
TheOther 5 | 3,566
3 Feb 2010  #6
If the business is successful

Problem is, you don't know beforehand... :)

A registered trademark can be a huge financial investment if it's worldwide. Would you be willing to shell out some serious cash without knowing whether your business will be successful or not? I wouldn't - at least not during the start-up period. Of course, if we're only talking Poland here, then a TM might be an option. Don't know the costs though.
z_darius 14 | 3,969
4 Feb 2010  #7
It all depends on the definition of "huge financial" investment. If you want to run a business to plow snow for 3 customers every Winter then $5,000+ kinda much indeed. For many business start-ups the $5,000 would be peanuts.

Other than that it is a catch-22. The problem is that if a trade name is used by the "owner" without the TM sign next to it then any future attempts to defend it as a trademark might be really (I mean really) hugely expensive. So if you don't get hit in the beginning you may be hit even more in the future.
TheOther 5 | 3,566
4 Feb 2010  #8
It all depends on the definition of "huge financial" investment

Fees add up if you want to register in - say - 100 countries or more, you definitely need costly legal advice to set everything up, there a renewal fees, and so on and so forth. We are not talking about five grand; you are often looking at 5 or 6 figures ( or even more).

You are of course right with the catch 22 situation. Larger corporations or well-funded startups wouldn't hesitate, but as I said before: for smaller companies the whole thing might be too expensive.
OP jworlledge 5 | 13
4 Feb 2010  #9
I think I just need something for Poland as any franchise plans I have would be for Poland alone and I have recently been talking to guys who own Piwoteka and they got battered by people stealing their name and twisting it.

Keep it short, got it.

Maybe trademark is a better way to go. I just don't want someone to say, "that's a good idea, I'll just use his name since it's not trademarked and..."

Am I being a bit paranoid?

Anyone know costs for trademarking in Poland (12-15 letters, 2 words) and who to contact for this?
z_darius 14 | 3,969
4 Feb 2010  #10
One thing you may consider is that a word or phrase is automatically copyrighted the moment you create it. Some conditions apply though. A common word will not be automatically copyrighted, and neither can you copyright so called prior art. You could eventually turn a copyrighted woird or slogan into a trade mark.

Now, I am not a lawyer but I was involved in a few cases and hence I know a little bit. Your best bet is still a chat with a trademark/copyright lawyer.
OP jworlledge 5 | 13
4 Feb 2010  #11
Thanks darius. I just happen to be visiting one tomorrow morning. I will post his advice here for anyone else who may need it.

I will try to summarize my meeting with a lawyer last week about copyrighting (wrong term), trademarking a company name. Basically, it is pretty simple process to find if your desired name is taken or not. If you go to the Urząd Patentowy website, uprp.pl you can search through a database of trademarked names. His advice was to pick something more than one word unless your one word is made up and extremely unlikely to be considered common by the board who will make the decision concerning your trademark case.

English names are good, but if you decide to name your company in Polish, using normal words, then you will need to choose two or more of the words to be considered unique enough. For example, you couldn't name you company "Woda" or "Woda Naturalna" as the first is a thing commonly used and the second is a specific type of the previous thing. You could, however, name is "Excellsior Woda" or whatever.

I am not sure of the prices, but I will write some further information as I find out; I will start the process sometime this month or next.

As far as legal advice goes, anyone know how to legally dispose of a yapping dog that seems to have the endurance and stamina to go 22 hrs a day, 'YAAAAAaaaaaaap' in a shrill, high-pitched voice?
erika5
19 May 2013  #12
[Moved from]: Film from 1948 copyright in Poland - is it in the public domain now?

Is a film made in 1948 in Poland now out of copyright and in the public domain?
wjtk - | 29
19 May 2013  #13
Copyright protection of movies expire 70 years after death of last person from following group: director, screenwriter, dialoguewriter, music composer.
Art. 36 point 4 + Art. 124.1 point 3 of Polish copyright law.
Maluch 30 | 95
26 Oct 2014  #14
Merged: Copyrighting/ Trademarking- Business name; protected by Poland's law or does the name need to be registered?

how does it work in Poland for protecting your Business name, Logo, 'vibe' ?

is it automatically protected by law or do you have to register the name, logo, etc ?
Looker - | 1,008
26 Oct 2014  #15
Nothing is automatically protected. You should take care about everything yourself.
You may register either your business name itself or the name with graphics - whole logo. In the second case the fee is of course higher, yet you pay extra for every colour in the sign.
West16Studio
8 Jan 2016  #16
Merged: Copy Right Law in Poland

I am planning to make my own project which will involve recycling footage from an old cartoon call "Koziołek Matołek" and that film will be released in Canada direct-to-video. If I am not mistaken, this cartoon was made from 1969 to 1971. The studio which made this cartoon is no longer active. Do you think that this cartoon is in public domain? If not, is there some way to use the footage without paying any money to the owners? As a beginning film-maker, I will be glad to know.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
8 Jan 2016  #17
Do you think that this cartoon is in public domain?

No chance. A quick look shows that youtube.com/user/StudioMiniaturF will own the copyright.
kpc21 1 | 763
9 Jan 2016  #18
I understand that as a cartoon you mean a TV series. There was also a series of comic books it was based on - but it was from the 1930s.

The comic books were being issued from 1932 to 1934. According to the copyright act from 1927 (pl.wikisource.org/wiki/Prawo_autorskie_%28ustawa_z_29_marca_1926_r.%29), which was valid that time, the copyright holds for 50 years after the death of the one of the authors who died last. In this case there was two authors: Kornel Makuszyński, the author of the texts, who died in 1953, an Marian Walentynowicz, the author of pictures, who died on 26th August 1967. So it will go to the public domain in August 2017.

The TV series from 1969-1971 was produced by Studio Miniatur Filmowych from Warsaw, which is still active. There is a problem with their website, because if you open it from a web browser in a language different from Polish, it automatically redirects you to the English version, which doesn't work, it shows a server error. You must set in the web browser that you prefer to see the websites in Polish, or, if it doesn't help, install the Polish version of any browser, then the website will work - but only in Polish version.

Anyway, the contact data of the studio are:
- telephone: +48 22 845 53 45
- email: smf@smf.com.pl
- address:
ul. Królewicza Jakuba 12a
02-956 Warszawa


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