Trademark registration in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced, high-income social market economy. It is a welfare state with a European social model, universal health care, and tuition-free university education. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of trademark registration in Czech.
Necessary documents for trademark registration in the Czech Republic
The necessary documents for trademark registration in the Czech Republic include:
- The request to register the trademark in the Czech Republic;
- List of goods and/or services according to the International Classification;
- Trademark models;
- Filing fee.
The procedure of trademark registration in the Czech Republic
In order to obtain proprietary rights over a trademark, the trademark applications must be filed with the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (UPV).
Once the trademark examination is finished, the trademark application will be published in the Official Journal. After the publication of the trademark, any third parties will have a period of 3 months to file an opposition action against the trademark application. The chances of success for an opposition will differ in each circumstance depending on the details of each case.
- Separate trademark: If one wishes to use the word element separately from the logo (or vice versa), the applicant should register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements that they wish to use and protect separately to have the best protection to the registered trademark in the market.
- Combined trademark: If one registers a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Czech, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to the use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered.
The protection, validity period, renewal of trademark registration in the Czech Republic
When successfully registered a trademark in the Czech Republic, the owners of the trademark will have exclusive rights over their trademark. When other parties intend to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of said trademark, the owner of the trademark will have the right to oppose/object to the application. However, it should be noted that such action may only be performed within a certain amount of time.
Trademark registration in the Czech Republic has a validity of 10 years from the date of filing and it can be renewed indefinitely for another 10 years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as 12 months before the expiration date. In addition, the owner may also file for a trademark renewal during the grace period of 6 months after the expiration date of the trademark with a late payment fee.
- The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, accordingly, the applicants may file their registration through a European Union Trademarks (EUTM)
- The Czech Republic is also a member state of the Madrid Protocol. Therefore, the extension of international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country.
Use requirement of the trademark in the Czech Republic
In Czech, the trademark does not have to be in use at the moment of registration. Despite that, prior use of the trademark may be useful to increase the trademark owner’s claims over the trademark. Furthermore, it may also help to overcome objections raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use for it to register, it should be noted that the trademark registered in Czech must not go unused for more than 5 years after registration or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. The amount of use that clarifies the lack of use claim must be on a commercial scale.
You can see a list of Czech republic IP firms here.