What is a PATENT?

A patent is a legal title that protects a specific invention.

What is an INVENTION?

The system of law does not define “an invention” as such. Legal regulations provide only some specific criteria that must be met by an invention so that it can be granted a patent.

According to the law, patents are granted – regardless of the field of technology – for inventions which are new, which involve an inventive step and which are industrially applicable.

An invention may be a device, a product of a durable form, a method of how something can be made or operated, or how something can be used.


A utility model is a new and useful solution of a technical nature concerning the shape, construction or durable assembly of an object. The concept of a utility model is similar to an invention but it applies to physical objects only.

How can you protect inventions and utility models?

If you want to obtain a patent for an invention or a right of protection for a utility model, you must file an application with the Polish Patent Office. You may be represented only by a patent attorney in the proceedings for the grant of a patent or a utility model.

What are the criteria of patentability?

An invention is patentable if it meets three basic criteria, which are generally the same throughout the entire world:

  1. Novelty
    An invention is considered to be new if it was not disclosed to the public before the date of its priority (i.e. information of the invention was not made available to the public).
  2. Inventive step (Non-obviousness)
    An invention has an inventive step if, compared with the state of the art, it is not obvious for a person skilled in the given field (i.e. it involves an element of surprise for the skilled person or solves a problem that has not been effectively dealt with so far).
  3. Industrial applicability  
    An invention is considered to be industrially applicable if it can be carried out or reproduced in practice in a repeatable manner.
Are there any other obstacles to the grant of a patent, apart from the criteria of patentability?

Yes, there are. Some subject matter is excluded from patent protection. These include solutions that are not considered to be inventions (e.g. scientific theories or discoveries, computer programmes) or solutions that are considered to be inventions but cannot be granted a patent (e.g. animal varieties or surgical methods for the treatment of human body).

Who can be granted a patent?

The inventor or co-inventors have the right to be granted a patent for an invention or the right of protection for a utility model. The right to a patent or a utility model is proprietary in nature and can be transferred. 

How long can a patent or a utility model be protected?

A patent is protected for 20 years from the date on which it was filed with the Polish Patent Office. The protection of some inventions can be extended for subsequent 5 years.

A utility model is protected for 10 years from its filing date.

Why is it advantageous to be granted a patent or a utility model?

The grant of a patent or the right of protection for a utility model provides the holder with the exclusive right to use the invention or the utility model for business or professional purposes on the entire territory of Poland.