Legal Environment

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In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution

 

Business Contract

General Observation
Contracts are based on the rules of the party’s autonomy. All parties must agree the essential terms, including the price and the subject matter of the contract. Written agreements, although not always mandatory, enable to avoid future disputes.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Civil Code, Act on International Private Law of 1965.
Language of Domestic Contract
Polish
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
Many private international law regulations have been ratified by Poland and remain applicable, including the Council Regulation No 44/2001, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the international Sale of Goods (CISG) and the New York Convention of 1974 on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods.

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
The organisation responsible for the protection of intellectual property in Poland is the Urzad Patentowy RP, and the Copyright Office.
Regional Organisations

For patent protection: The European Patent Office.
Governing trademarks, designs and models: The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
Law on inventive activity
19th October, 1972, modified by the law of 16th April, 1993
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademark
 
Law on Trademarks
31st January, 1985
10 years, renewable for a consecutive period of 10 years. Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Industrial Property Act of 30th June, 2000
25 years  
Copyright
 
Act No. 83 of 4th February, 1994 on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (as last amended on 21st October, 2010) and the Act of 9th June, 2000 on the Amendment to the Law on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (2000)
10 years Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Industrial Property Act of 30th June, 2000
25 years  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Poland is a constitutional State. Foreign nationals can expect to obtain impartial proceedings in legal matters.
The Language of Justice
Polish is the language of justice used.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to obtain an interpreter.
Legal Similarities
The main source of the country's law is the Constitution of 1997. The legal system is a mix of Continental civil law (Napoleonic) and remnants of communist legal theory; changes are being brought in rapidly via democratisation. Poland accepts the obligatory jurisdiction of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) but with reservations. As Poland is a member of the European Union, its national law must abide by the conditions of the UE's legislation.
 

The Different Legal Codes

 
Accounting regulations Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Contract and property law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Customs law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Consumer law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Company law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Investment law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Labor law Consult Law Library of Congress Website
Any additional information Consult Doing Business Website
 
Checking National Laws Online
Online legal database (in Polish)
N-Lex
Other Useful Resources
Lawyers Poland
Country Guides
Lexmundi, Guide to doing business in Poland
Guide to the judicial system in Poland
 

The Jurisdictions

 
There is a four-tiered court system in Poland: Regional, provincial, appellate divisions, and a Supreme Court. For additional information.
The National Judicial Council The twenty-four-member council, consisting of judges from the national, district, and local levels, serves a four-year term and has the primary function of recommending judgeship candidates to the president. Another basic function of the body is to oversee the entire judiciary and establish professional standards.
The Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ and functions primarily as a court of appeal.
The Supreme Court reviews the decisions of all lower courts; hears appeals of decisions made by the district courts, along with appeals brought by the minister of justice (who simultaneously serves as the prosecutor general) and the first chairman of the Supreme Court; and adopts legal interpretations and clarifications. The court is organized into four chambers: criminal, civil, labour and social insurance, and military.
Lower Courts Local courts concentrate on minor, routine offenses, and the district courts were to take on more serious cases and consider appeals of local court verdicts. Lower courts are divided into criminal, civil, military, labor and family chambers. Judges are nominated by the National Judicial Council and are appointed by the president for life.
 
 

Court Officials

Professional judge
More details here
Public prosecutor
More details here
Attorney at law
More details here
Legal adviser
More details here
Notary public
More details here
Court executive officer
More details here
Division official
More details here
Assistant of judge
More details here
Assistant of public prosecutor
More details here
People’s judge
More details here
 
 

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International Dispute Resolution

Arbitration
A permanent arbitration tribunal to settle disputes arising from international commercial activities operates through the Polish Chamber of Commerce.
Arbitration Law
Code of Civil Procedure, Part V Arbitral Court
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Party to the Geneva Convention of the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
See arbitration appointment procedures here
Arbitration Procedure
See arbitration procedures here.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Arbitration Court at the Polish Chamber of Commerce
Arbitration Court at the Polish Conference of Private Employers LEWIATAN
Link to Polish arbitration organisations

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Latest Update: October 2022