Industrial design law, case VI SA/Wa 921/10

December 6th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 13 September 2010 case file VI SA/Wa 921/10 ruled on three important factors of the design law. The VAC held that the “overall impression” refers to the design as a whole, and not to its individual characteristics. It is therefore a general effect, the general feeling that is caused by compared designs on an informed user – whether it is a different impression, or the same. The informed user is a person well informed and having a good understanding and knowledge in this field, who is using certain items or groups of items, with knowledge about this products which is more practical or theoretical than the average user and having more abilities to perceive the characteristics of the object then the average user, and being infromed in the state of industrial design in the given field and being capable of distinguishing the available designs. The scope of creative freedom is determined by the functional characteristics of the object and the earlier state of designs. The oriented user must have a sufficient knowledge to assess the scope of creative freedom and be able to see even relatively small differences, important for the designs of low creative freedom.


This judgment concerned the industrial design “Uchwyt meblowy” (in English: furniture handle), Rp-10801. The judgment is not yet final. A cassation complaint may be filed to the Supreme Administrative Court. See also “Polish regulations on industrial designs” and “Polish case law on industrial designs“.