Procedural law, case II GSK 350/06

November 24th, 2008, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 18 April 2008 case file II GSK 350/06 held that the duties of the Polish Patent Office to take all necessary steps to clarify the facts of a case and to resolve it, having regard to the public interest and the legitimate interests of members of the public cannot be “transferred” to the litigation proceedings in patent cases based on the provisions of Article 256(1) of the Polish Act of 30 June 2000 on Industrial Property Law – IPL – (in Polish: ustawa Prawo własności przemysłowej), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 2001 No 49, item 508, consolidated text of 13 June 2003, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 119, item 1117, with subsequent amendments.

Article 256
1. The provisions of the Code of Administrative Procedure shall apply accordingly to litigation procedure before the Patent Office in cases not regulated by this Law..

2. To costs of proceedings the provisions applied in civil law proceedings shall apply accordingly.

3. The provisions of the Code of Administrative Procedure governing re-examination, at a party’s request, of cases, in which decisions not liable to appeal were taken, shall not apply to decisions on merits taken after hearing.

31. The cases referred to in Article 2553(2) may be requested to be re-adjudicated. A time limit for submitting a request shall be, in case of a decision made – two months and in case of an order issued – one month from the date of the decision or the order being served upon the party.

4. (repealed)

This is because the Article 255(4) of the IPL includes provisions that fully cover this regulation and precludes the possibility of the complementary use of provisions of Article 7 and 77 of the Administrative Proceedings Code – APC – (in Polish: Kodeks postępowania administracyjnego) of 14 June 1960, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 30, item 168, consolidated text of 9 October 2000, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 98, item 1071 with subsequent amendments.

Article 255
4. The Patent Office shall settle cases in litigation procedure within the scope of the request and shall be bound by the legal ground invoked by the requesting party.

The Court also ruled the such findings do not preclude, of course, the activity of the Polish Patent Office to collect evidence, provided that they fall within an already pending case in litigation proceedings.