Entrepreneurs must look after their trade marks themselves
On 1 January 2019 in the Czech Republic entered into force an amendment to Act No. 441/2013 Coll., on trade marks implementing the Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks.
The most important change for entrepreneurs who own registered trade marks is the fact that the competent office has no longer an obligation to reject the applications for a registration of a new trade mark, even if it is identical to already registered trade marks. The consequence of this change is that it is now possible to register identical trade mark. Until now, however, the practise has been that the competent office has rejected the application for the registration of a trade mark matching another already registered trade mark ex officio.
Nonetheless, the new amendment is changing this practise. From now on, the competent office will not reject the application for the registration of an identical trade mark ex officio. New applications for registration of a colliding trade mark will be automatically published in the Trade Mark Register by the competent office. By the moment of its publishing starts a three month time period within which the owners of already registered trade marks shall file the objections against the registration of the trade mark in the Trade Mark Register. If they fail to do so within the respective time limit, the colliding trade mark will be registered in the register.
The owners of registered trade marks therefore have new obligation to actively search for the applications for the registration of colliding trade marks. In case that the owner omits this obligation, it is still possible to solve the situation, namely by the invalidation or cancellation of the trade mark in the proceedings on cancellation or declaration of invalidity of the trade mark. Nevertheless, these procedures require considerable financial expenses and take a lot of time.
The most suitable solution for entrepreneurs owning the registered trade mark is the regular monitoring of filled applications for the registration of trade mark in the Trade Mark Registe,r which our law firm will be happy to provide.