Czech Republic (CZ)
Legal basis is the new Trademark Act no. 441/2003 of December 3rd, 2003, in force since April 1st, 2004. The Czech Republic is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Since May 1st, 2004, the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Owner of trademarks that were protected in former Czechoslovakia were able to choose whether their trademarks should be protected in only one or in both successor states.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, combinations or shades of colours, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks and collective marks.
The application is filed at the Patent Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A non-legalised power of attorney is sufficient.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 6 to 10 months.
Before registration, the trademark application is published in the weekly Official Journal of the Czech Industrial Property Office. At the end of the opposition period, the trademark is registered and published if no opposition has been filed or opposition has been rejected.
The opposition period is 3 months from publication of the trademark application.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
3 months. Starting from the first day of the month following publication in the WIPO Gazette (non-extendable).
Protection begins with the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the expiration date of the trademark.
If the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration or has later not been used for 5 consecutive years, it may be subject to cancellation. Subsequent use of the trademark can restore protection if no third party has applied for an identical or similar trademark in the meantime and if no party has requested cancellation due to non-use.
The official fee is 5.000 CZK (approx. EUR 200.00) for up to three classes and 500 CZK (approx. EUR 20.00) for each additional class.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In the Czech Republic a trademark licence agreement has to be in writing. Licensing of unregistered marks is permitted. A licence can cover all or only some of the goods or services for which the trademark is registered and extend to the whole or part of the territory of the Czech Republic. Licences may be exclusive or non-exclusive. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence.
The following statutory provisions prescribe the terms of a licence agreement:
1. The licensor is bound to uphold the rights for the duration of the contract.
2. The licensor is bound, without undue delay, to make available to the licensee all the documentation and information required for the exercise of the rights under the contract. After termination the licensee must return these documents.
3. Persons who take part in the business activities of the licensee are bound to keep the information confidential and shall not be considered as third parties to the agreement.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee. The recordal of a licence is mandatory to be effective against third parties. There is no time frame for a recordal and there is no standard form or content for a licence agreement.
The licence agreement becomes effective and enforceable against third parties upon its entry in the
Trademark Register and is published once in the electronic Official Industrial Property Bulletin.
There is an evidentiary presumption that use of a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee may join the trademark owner in infringement proceedings. The licensee can also call upon the owner to institute infringement proceedings. The holder of an exclusive licence may institute proceedings for infringement without the consent of the proprietor, if the proprietor of the trademark does not bring proceedings himself within two months after having received a notice by the licensee regarding an infringement. The licensee of a non-exclusive licence may bring trademark infringement proceedings only with the consent of the proprietor of the trademark, unless otherwise provided for by the licence agreement. The trademark owner should be cited as co-defendant in legal proceedings.
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
Rott, Ruzicka & Guttmann, Prag, Czech Republic
Čermák a spol., Prague, Czech Republic
Rott, Ruzicka & Guttmann, Prag, Czech Republic