Warning shot fired over document quality in trademark submissions

The Polish Patent Office has issued a sharp reminder to legal representatives − particularly those involved in oppositions and other disputes – that all documentation filed in proceedings before the office must be readable and of high quality.

In Poland it is possible to file an opposition against a trademark application in writing or through the office’s platform of electronic services. In either case, the quality of documentation (eg, evidence in support of use) is critical. This concerns not only the substantive value of the documents but also their clarity and readability.

Physical documents sent to the office in writing are digitised and uploaded to the office’s electronic services platform system; examiners then review the case using these digitised files. Given this, the importance of high-quality documentation is obvious. The office notes that parties frequently provide unclear or blurred material. Very often, the documents provided are too bright, or the font is too small, which makes them difficult to scan and interferes with their proper examination.

Due to the technical limitations of the office’s electronic services platform system, the office requires that files be no larger than 100MB. Moreover, the subdirectory structure should not be used. This rule also applies to materials sent on CD/DVD and pen drive. Sometimes, it precludes filing the opposition through the office’s platform. Due to the 100MB limit, many representatives choose to file oppositions in writing.

Based on our own experience, we can say that the Polish Patent Office is extremely diligent when it comes to the quality of material. When filing an opposition in writing, one should provide documentation in full colour of the best possible quality. The font should be easy to read and the text should not be blurred. This will avoid complaints that the material is illegible.

If one refers to a document in an opposition filing, one must also submit the original document unless a copy is provided which has been certified by the party's representative, an attorney or legal advisor. This copy should be signed on each page, not just once. If this rule is not followed, the opposing party may have the documents disregarded.   

The requirement for high-quality documentation is reasonable and understood for contradictory proceedings. Nevertheless, the limitation on accepted file size is inconvenient for parties and a major downside of the office’s electronic services platform system. We hope that the Polish Patent Office will soon increase this limit, as it will surely increase the popularity of its digital platform.

This is an insight article whose content has not been commissioned or written by the WTR editorial team, but which has been proofed and edited to run in accordance with the WTR style guide.

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