Trademark registration process

A brand is the most valuable thing many companies have, and it can be worth a lot. Protecting it properly is therefore absolutely crucial, and good trademarks are at the heart of it.

In this article, we will discuss the trademark registration process:

  1. preparation and submission of the application
  2. checking the formalities by the competent office
  3. examination of compliace with the conditions for trademark registration
  4. publication of the application and opposition proceedings
  5. registration of the trade mark

1) Preparation and submission of the application

Just as the foundation of brand protection lies in high-quality trademarks, the foundation of trademark protection lies in high-quality applications. And high-quality applications stand and fall on 3 factors: the definition of the sign, the list of goods and services, and the search.

The definition of the sign is clear, that is what the trademark is about. The list of goods and services, in turn, specifies the goods and services for which protection is sought. And the search verifies whether someone is already using a similar sign and avoids potential litigation and other costs. The Industrial Property Office of The Czech Republic does not do this search. It only checks the formalities of the application and the substantive fulfilment of the conditions for registration of the trademark. The search in older rights is therefore up to you.

The filing fee for a 3-class Czech trademark application is CZK 5,000, for a 1-class EU trademark it is EUR 850. These fees are eligible for 75% support under the Ideas Powered for Business programme.

Once you have submitted your application, you cannot change its details. The only exception is to narrow the list of goods and services. Therefore, do not underestimate the filling of the application and do not rely on simple forms.

2) Classification and formalities control

The relevant authority examines that your application contains all the formal requirements. This includes the sign, the list of goods and services, as well as information about the applicant. At this stage, the Office will also check that you have paid the respective fees.

If any information is missing or the Office finds other errors, it will ask you for correction.

3) Examination of compliace with the conditions for trademark registration

Once you have all the formal requirements in order, the office will proceed to review the sign. The main focus is on whether the sign meets the conditions for registration.

The sign must not be descriptive, contrary to good morals, contain prohibited signs such as national and religious symbols, or be misleading. Above all, however, it has to be distinctive. This means whether it helps distinguish your goods and services from others.

At the same time, the respective office checks the list of goods and services – their correct classification, accuracy, etc.

If something is not right at this point, the authority will issue an assessment. There they specify the problems found and, as the applicant, you usually have 2 months to remedy any deficiencies and reply.

On the basis of the assessment and the statement, the trade mark application will either be published, partially refused (for example for certain goods and services) or in extreme cases refused altogether.

4) Publication and opposition

The publication of the application does not mean that you have won, there is still a 3-month period for oppositions before the trademark is registered. Within this period, third parties have the opportunity to oppose the registration. Their eventual effect depends on how good a search you have done at the beginning. With a thorough search you can identify potential conflicts early on and you can avoid or minimise their impact.

Oppositions are a way for other trademark owners to prevent the registration of other trademarks that might restrict their rights. Again, your trademark application may be partially rejected (for example, for certain goods and services), or oppositions may be refused (and therefore the application will not be affected), or in extreme cases the application may be rejected altogether.

These results are the last stage of the trade mark registration process and occur after the opposition is over. Its length depends on the number of oppositions and the speed of the opposing parties’ submissions. Without oppositions, it is the aforementioned 3 months, but the whole registration process can take years.

5) Trademark registration

The registration process of your trademark is over and you get all its rights for the whole 10 years.

But the work doesn’t end there. To avoid losing these rights, you must take care of it (for example, use the R symbol ® to indicate a registered trademark). In this article, you will learn the next 3 steps you shouldn’t skip after registering a trademark.

Do you want to make sure that nothing is neglected during registration?