Original works and copyright protection

Copyright law protects original works - the results of a person's creative activity that are individual and fixed in any form. The legal acts are lists of examples of the copyrighted works including works expressed in words, mathematical symbols, graphic signs (literary, journalistic, scientific, cartographic and computer software), artistic, photographic, violin-making, industrial design, architectural and urban planning works, musical and verbal-musical, stage, stage-and-musical, choreographic and pantomimic, audiovisual (including cinematographic) works. However, this is not an exhaustive catalogue, but only an exemplary one.

It is worth mentioning that works may also be protected as:

  • trademarks Protection of the trade marks
  • design Protection of the design
  • inventions Patents

In close cooperation with our Clients, we are developing strategies for the optimal protection of their intellectual property

IP consulting

We are also conducting IP audits, examining the course of existing protection measures and management of intellectual property and determining what needs to be improved

IP Audits

The individual character of work means that it stands out even minimally from the previously existing work.

And creative activity takes place always when there is a subjective act of creation. The opposite of creative activity is reproductive, mechanical or constituting implementation of predetermined guidelines.

Unlike a trademark, a work does not have...

to be registered or paid official fees to be protected. Work is under protection from the moment of its creation. It is sufficient to give the work any form that enables another person to see the content of the work. Keeping the work protected does not depend on its value, purpose or expression.

The author can be:

an adult, a child, a person having full rights, or incapacitated. The author does not need any education or qualification to obtain protection.

Copyright protects only the manner of expression, i.e. the form given to work.

Are not subject to copyright protection:

  • discoveries
  • ideas
  • procedures
  • methods and principles of operation
  • mathematical concepts

The idea itself to create a work, even the most detailed one, will not be protected.

Discoveries, ideas, procedures, methods and principles of operation may be protected by a patent.


In ip.land we always start the analysis of a particular case from the assessment of whether a given creation has the features of work within the meaning of the Act on Copyright and Related Rights, consequently, whether it is subject to copyright protection.

Which requires particularly...

a study of the process that led to the creation of the work and possibly a comparison with other known works in the public domain.

Such specialised analysis can minimise the risk of adverse consequences resulting from, for example:

litigation for damages for infringement of copyright though the work does not meet the criteria for protection. We also advise on how to protect your intellectual property rights optimally

Have you received a lawsuit for copyright infringement or a cease and desist order?

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We also advise on how to protect your intellectual property rights optimally

More information can be found here:

IP consulting

We also encourage you to read about the course of litigation in intellectual property infringement cases.

IP disputes and litigation

In the case of works that originate from inspiration from someone else's work, we speak of inspired works. Such works constitute an independent subject of copyright protection.

An example of such a work would be a musical work inspired by the subject matter of an artistic creation.

  1. An inspired work is often confused with a dependent work as an adaptation, reworking or translation.
  2. In Layman's terms, the latter category of work is when creative and individual elements originate from the original work.
  3. The condition for using and disposing of the work is to obtain prior consent from the author of the original work and to mark the work accordingly.

Subjects to copyright:

  • collections
  • anthologies
  • selections
  • databases that meet the characteristics of a work, even if they contain unprotected material

Obtaining such protection...

is under the condition that the selection, arrangement or juxtaposition adopted in them have a creative character.

Under the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act:

  • normative acts or official drafts thereof
  • official documents
  • materials
  • signs and symbols
  • published patent or protective descriptions
  • simple press releases are not protected

Once the work is created, the author's moral rights and economic copyrights arise.

Moral rights

non-transferable and non-substantiated.


  • author's right to the authorship of the work
  • to mark the work with their name or a pseudonym or to make it available anonymously
  • to inviolability of the content and form of the work and its reliable use
  • to decide on the first release of the work to the public
  • supervise the way the work is used

The author's economic rights

with the exceptions provided by law.


  • right to use the work and dispose of it in all fields of exploitation and the remuneration for the use of the work.

They are inheritable, tradable and subject to a time limit.

The moment a work is created, the author has a monopoly on the use and disposal of the work, benefiting from it.

meaning that, for example, copies of the work cannot be sold, distributed or made available without the author's permission.

If the author's economic rights are infringed, the author may demand, among other things

  • to stop the infringement
  • removal of consequences
  • reparation of the damage inflicted following general rules or by payment of a sum of money equal to twice the appropriate remuneration
  • release of the obtained profits
  • to publish a statement in the press

What if the author's moral rights are threatened or infringed?

the author may demand to cease any actions leading to that, to perform the necessary undertaking to remove the effects of the infringement, if the infringement was culpable, the author may also demand financial compensation for the harm suffered or to pay a sum of money to a social cause indicated by the author.

More information on copyright protection, claims and court actions

can be found here:

IP disputes and litigation

Copyright law allows for the contractual transfer of the author's economic rights or grant of a licence.

As a rule, the effect of a contract transferring copyrights is that the copyrights are transferred to the buyer in perpetuity within the scope outlined in the contract. The subject of a licence agreement is usually temporary permission to use the work specified in the agreement. Licence agreements are always terminable.

Umowy licencyjne zawsze są wypowiadalne

Would you like to sign a contract to transfer the author's economic rights or a licence agreement?

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Are you wondering how to protect your copyrights?

We help clients create an intellectual property protection strategy

IP consulting

The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act adopts a rule...

that the transfer of the author's economic rights occurs in fields of exploitation specified in the agreement.

But what are these fields of exploitation?

Generally speaking, they are ways to use work economically.

The Copyright Act lists the following as examples of fields of exploitation:

  • within the scope of recording and multiplication of the work - production of copies of the work, for example by printing, magnetic recording or digital technique
  • within the scope of circulation of the original or copies on which the work has been fixed - introduction into circulation, lending or rental of the original or its copies
  • within the scope of distribution of the work in another way - public performance, exhibition, display, reproduction as well as broadcasting and rebroadcasting

This list is not exhaustive, in practice, there are many more fields of exploitation.

The law provides for two types of licence agreements - non-exclusive licence and exclusive licence.

An exclusive licence

is characterised by the fact that it grants the licensee the exclusive right to use the work in a certain way, and the creator cannot allow others to use the work in the same fields of exploitation.

A non-exclusive licence

does not contain these restrictions. If the agreement does not stipulate exclusivity, it is considered a non-exclusive licence.

Both the agreement for the transfer of copyrights and the exclusive licence agreement require the written form, otherwise is considered null and void.

Both the agreement for the transfer of copyrights and the exclusive licence agreement require the written form, otherwise is considered null and void.

Both the agreement for the transfer of copyrights and the exclusive licence agreement require the written form, otherwise is considered null and void.

Both the agreement for the transfer of copyrights and the exclusive licence agreement require the written form, otherwise is considered null and void.

IP audits

ip.land lawyers have many years of experience in preparing copyright agreements and consulting. They have also appeared in many disputes on the infringement of copyright and related rights.

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Unfair competition

Sometimes, to ensure full protection of our Clients' rights, we refer to the Act on Combating Unfair Competition. The Act prohibits actions that infringe or threaten the interests of an entrepreneur, and are contrary to the law or morality. Acts of unfair competition include, but are not limited to, the following: misleading designation of a business, goods or services, unfair or prohibited advertising, violation of business secrets, inducing to dissolve or breach of a contract, imitation of products, slander or unfair praise, impeding access to the market. This is not a closed list of unfair competition acts.

The act prohibits imitation!

copying the form of products and their packaging, imitating functional features, construction, design or form.

The purpose of the act...

is to ensure fair competition on the market and protect against the use of markings that mislead customers as to the origin, quality, or source of the goods or services.

It is also an act of unfair...

competition to disseminate false or misleading information about other entities (competitors) and advertising that is contrary to the law, morality, misleading or exploiting fears, anxieties or credulity.

The provisions of the Act on Combating Unfair Competition prohibit disclosing, using or acquiring the secrets of competitors.

Any technical, technological, organisational, commercial or other information of economic value is deemed to be covered by a secret if the authorised party has taken steps to keep it confidential and it has not been disclosed to third parties.

If an act of unfair competition is committed, an entrepreneur whose interest has been infringed may claim, among other things:

  • to desist from the prohibited activity and to remove its effects
  • to make a declaration of appropriate content and form
  • to redress the damage caused
  • to hand over unjustifiably gained benefits or to adjudge a payment in lieu

Protection against acts of unfair competition can be sought in litigation

Some acts of unfair competition are also punishable.

IP Disputes and litigation

If you

  • are a victim of unfair competition
  • received a summons to cease acts of unfair competition or a lawsuit?

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