In the Czech Republic, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. The trademark applications must be filed with the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (UPV).
The Czech Republic is also a member of the European Union, therefore trademark protection can also be obtained by registering a European Union Trademarks (EUTM), and a member state to the Madrid Protocol, which means that the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in the Czech Republic in order for it to register. However, prior use may be useful as it can help overcome an objection raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness, by proving that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in the Czech Republic, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.
Third parties may file opposition actions against a trademark application during the period of three months following its publication in the Czech Intellectual Property Journal.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for periods of five years or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. The amount of use must be on a commercial scale.
Registered trademarks in the Czech Republic have an initial validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can then be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as twelve (12) months before the expiration date, or during the grace period of six (6) months that follows it upon payment of late renewal fees.