Intellectual Property Litigation in the Czech Republic

The court system in the Czech Republic is specifically organized for different types of legal disputes, including those concerning patents, trademarks and copyrights. Although legal terminology can sometimes be misleading and the jurisdiction of individual courts is not always entirely clear, it is important to understand where to turn in case of intellectual property disputes. Are you wondering which court to approach in Prague when you have a dispute over a patent or trademark? Are you considering whether your case falls under civil or administrative law? And do you want to know the significance of the Unified Patent Court in these cases? Our article will provide you with a clear overview and help you navigate the complex world of legal disputes related to intellectual property.

Division of Intellectual Property and Selection of the Relevant Court for Disputes

Intellectual property is divided into two main categories: copyright and industrial property rights. Copyrights, which include rights to literary, artistic, and other creative works, are not registered in the Czech Republic and most of Europe, thus not subject to any registration process. This is a significant difference compared to the United States, where copyrights are commonly registered.

On the other hand, industrial property rights, including patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs, must be registered with the respective registration offices. In the Czech Republic, this is done through the Industrial Property Office, the European Patent Office is responsible for granting European patents, and EU trademarks and Community industrial designs are registered with the EU Intellectual Property Office.

Besides these ‘standard’ industrial rights, there are also rights for plant variety protection, which are also registered, rights for protected designations of origin, which are recorded, and rights against unfair competition, which are not registered.

The complexity and diversity of these rights and registration procedures are also reflected in the complexity of the substantive and local jurisdiction of courts. In disputes in these areas, careful consideration must be given to which court is most appropriate for the specific case, whether it be a general court in the Czech Republic, a specialized court abroad, or a joint court for selected EU countries.

Judiciary in the Czech Republic in the Field of Industrial Law – Civil Law Line

In the Czech Republic, the judiciary concerning industrial law is divided into the civil law line, where the subject of the dispute is an exclusive right, such as from a patent, utility model, or trademark valid in the Czech Republic, and the administrative line, described below. These disputes may involve various types of rights, such as European patents validated in the Czech Republic, traditional Czech patents, Czech utility models, EU trademarks, or Czech trademarks.

In legal disputes related to industrial property, the Municipal Court in Prague, Slezská workplace, is substantively and locally competent. This court is responsible in the first instance for resolving disputes arising from exclusive rights derived from industrial property. This includes not only cases of infringement of these rights, compensation for damage, but also interpretations about the scope of these rights, but not validity. The validity of the right is exclusively resolved by the competent administrative authority (relevant office – see above). The Czech Republic is so called bifurcated system for revocation or cancellation action of the industrial property rights.

It is important to emphasize that in the field of industrial law, complex legal questions can arise, requiring specific knowledge and expertise of a Patent Representative. Therefore, in conducting disputes in this area, it is essential to cooperate with legal representatives who specialize in intellectual property and are authorized to conduct proceedings before the relevant courts.

Given that industrial law is constantly evolving and influenced by both national and international legislation, it is crucial for dispute participants to stay informed about current changes and trends in this area of law.

Unified Patent Court

The Unified Patent Court represents a key element in the reform of the patent system in Europe. This court is of crucial importance for European patent owners, as it allows centralized dispute resolution within selected EU member states that are part of this system. One of the main functions of the Unified Patent Court is the ability for third parties to file motions for the revocation of European patents. This option provides an efficient tool for resolving disputes concerning patent validity.

It is important to realize that ownership of European patents may be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court. This means that disputes related to these patents will automatically be resolved by this court unless an exception is made. An exception from this exclusive jurisdiction is possible but requires a properly filed request before initiating a dispute or a patent revocation proposal. This option of opting out of the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court allows patent holders some degree of flexibility in how they want to resolve potential disputes.

Czech innovators who deliver products to the market in one of the contracting countries of the Unified Patent may also face legal proceedings before the Unified Patent Court. This can happen if their products are alleged to infringe a valid patent in that country. In such cases, it is vital for Czech exporters to keep in mind that the dispute may be resolved in a different jurisdiction than Czech, requiring a specific legal approach and understanding of the patent laws valid in the respective country. It is advisable to conduct a patent cleanliness search before introducing any product to the market.

It must also be added that disputes before the Unified Patent Court are considerably expensive and can be devastating for Czech innovators.

Administrative Judiciary Line and Review of Decisions by Offices

The administrative judiciary line plays a significant role in the field of industrial law in the Czech Republic, as it deals with reviewing decisions issued by the Industrial Property Office. This line is crucial for ensuring fair and legally correct procedures in the process of granting, recognizing, and cancelling industrial rights, such as patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs.

For proceedings concerning Czech patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs, as well as proposals for the cancellation of European patents, the Municipal Court in Prague, Slezská workplace, is substantively and locally competent.

This court has the authority to review decisions of the Czech Republic’s Industrial Property Office, including everything from the patent granting process and trademark registration to their possible cancellation.

In disputes or proceedings concerning EU trademarks and Community industrial designs, the EU Tribunal is substantively and locally competent. The EU Tribunal has jurisdiction to decide on disputes related to decisions of the EU Intellectual Property Office, including issues related to the validity of trademark and industrial design rights at the EU level.

This dual jurisdiction provides a comprehensive system for resolving disputes and reviewing decisions in the field of industrial law. It is important for holders of industrial rights and involved parties to turn to the appropriate judicial bodies depending on the specific type of right and geographical area of its validity. This system ensures that decisions of the offices can be independently and fairly reviewed.

Copyright and Unfair Competition Law Judiciary

Enforcement of rights from copyright and unfair competition law is a key area protecting creative work and fair business in the Czech Republic and internationally. Copyright and unfair competition law play an important role in protecting intellectual property and fair competition in the market.


Copyright protects creators of literary, artistic, and other works from unauthorized use of their works. In the Czech Republic, as in many other countries, copyrights arise automatically with the creation of the work, without the need for registration. These rights allow the author to control how his work is used, including the right to copy, distribute, display publicly, and adapt.

In the event of copyright infringement, the author or rights holder can take legal action against the infringer. This can include civil litigation to obtain compensation or criminal prosecution in the case of more serious copyright infringements. The court with substantive jurisdiction is the Regional Court in the place of residence of the Defendant, if there is no contractual jurisdiction clause.

Unfair Competition Law

Unfair competition law protects entrepreneurs from dishonest and misleading business practices by competitors. This includes protection against deceptive advertising, unauthorized use of trade secrets, false disparagement, and other forms of unfair competition.

If an entrepreneur faces unfair competition, they can file a lawsuit against the competitor. The aim of the legal proceedings is usually to obtain a remedy, which may include an order to stop unfair practices, compensation for the damage caused, or a public statement on the falsity of the information used. The court with substantive and local jurisdiction in this case is the Regional Court in the place of residence of the defendant.

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