Patent Office’s e-platform is a hit with target audience

In this era of widespread digitisation, people continue to demand easier ways to deal with their issues – not least of which those concerning intellectual property. Understandably, public organisations worldwide are trying to modernise their services to meet this need. For the Polish Patent Office, these efforts entailed creating and launching an e-services platform in 2020 to improve its users’ experiences. So, nearly three years after its introduction, what are the e-platform’s primary features, and have they proved popular among the office’s target audience?

The e-platform’s launch and registration options

The platform debuted in February 2020, leading many people to believe that its launch was a reaction to the challenges of the then burgeoning covid-19 pandemic. However, financing and development of the e-platform had in fact began three years earlier, in 2017.

The developed e-platform features options for registration at two levels. Level P1 allows registration without user identity confirmation; owners of accounts at this level receive limited access to a particular set of the e-platform’s functionalities. Level P2 requires identity confirmation through the e-Identity or Trusted Profile services, the latter of which can be accessed by anyone with a Polish bank account. This provides account owners full access to all the e-platform’s functionalities, including improved communication with the Patent Office.

Users can verify the authenticity of their communications with the office by locating the official QR code featured on all its letters (see “Polish IP office launches authenticity verification tool in fight against fraudsters”). This method protects trademark applicants from deception and extortion attempts by unknown people disguising themselves as authorised staff.

Key functionalities of the e-platform

The Patent Office’s e-platform allows users to:

  • file for a trademark;
  • file an opposition or third-party observation;
  • respond to trademark application irregularities;
  • amend data in the register related to a trademark; and
  • file a request concerning the information on a license granted. 

Users can also utilise it to manage, track and make any electronic payments related to office proceedings; these are determined by the e-platform’s calculator, which automatically totals all payments due.

The e-platform further allows users to monitor the status of industrial property rights (ie, trademarks) through a subscription feature. This tool allows these account holders to subscribe to a particular trademark and receive access to data on it. For example, if someone is interested in filing an opposition against a yet-to-be-published trademark application, they can configure a subscription to said mark that alerts them by email to its publication and any changes in its application status.

The popularity of the e-platform since its launch

The e-platform grew in popularity over the course of 2020, its inaugural year. The number of issues carried out electronically rose from 666 in February 2020 to 3,280 in July; the monthly total fell to 2,971 in August but then soared to 4,540 in December. In total, users carried out 32,618 issues through the e-platform in this first year.

The following year, 2021, saw less drastic increases compared to 2020, but stability developed in the platform’s popularity. Overall, users carried out 53,404 issues through the e-platform over the course of the year. May was the quietest month, with 4,137, and March was the busiest, with 5,297.

The last year, 2022, presented a slight decrease in the number of issues carried out via the e-platform. April had the lowest number of issues carried out, 4,007, and January had the highest, 5,080. The total for 2022 was 51,350 issues. This data indicates that the use of the e-platform for the whole of 2022 was less than in 2021, but still significantly greater than for 2020.

The future

The e-platform provides many services that facilitate the prosecution and enforcement of IP rights in Poland. Its functionalities seem to be well designed for the current needs of its users and effective in resolving them, as reflected in the increased popularity since launch.

Even if the e-platform’s popularity dipped slightly in 2022, we believe it will gain more users in the near future. In the meantime, the Polish Patent Office ought to listen to professional practitioners using the platform, considering their comments and proposals to enhance the tool and its efficiency.

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of WTR's co-published content. Read more on Insight

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