Who's the boss? Representatives in IP cases


Tomasz Rychlicki

Last month, the Polish Patent Office made two statements on important procedural issues.

According to the Polish Industrial Property Law, a patent attorney acting as a representative shall be authorised to appoint a substitute. In this event, the same relationship exists between the party and the attorney substitute as between the party and the patent attorney, and the existing powers of attorney are maintained. This means that the party has two equivalent proxies.

On the basis of the Administrative Procedure Code, where a party has decided to act with the help of a patent attorney as its representative, all documents are delivered to the representative, and not the party. Because the substitute power of attorney can only be granted to patent attorneys, and the Industrial Property Law only permits one proxy for each legal action.

If a substitute is appointed, all correspondence will be delivered to one person—either the attorney or their substitute. The decision regarding who receives correspondence will be taken following an assessment of attorney documents and attorney substitution. If the patent attorney does not indicate an address for the delivery of documents, the Polish Patent Office will instead deliver all documents to the attorney substitute.

Legal representatives, PPO