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Misconduct notification – Whistleblowing

Persons who perform work or other similar activities in the Industrial Property Office (hereinafter also as „the Office“ may report suspicions of possible infringements that have occurred or are about to occur in the Industrial Property Office.

A report may be made to the Industrial Property Office through the internal reporting system described below or directly to the Department of Justice using the form available at https://oznamovatel.justice.cz/chci-podat-oznameni/

Internal notification system of the Industrial Property Office

In accordance with Act No. 171/2023 Coll., on the Protection of Whistleblowers (hereinafter: the Whistleblower Protection Act), the Competent Person for the receipt of notifications at the Office has been designated Mgr. Jan Říha.

The notification must comply with the conditions set out in § Section 2 of the Whistleblower Protection Act. In particular, the notification must contain information from which the identity of the notifier can be inferred. The person responsible for receiving the notification is obliged to keep the identity of the notifiers confidential, unless the person responsible is obliged to provide this information to the relevant public authorities under other legislation. The notifier shall be informed in advance of such disclosure and shall be given the opportunity to comment on the disclosure.

The Competent Person shall receive notifications and investigate the suspicions contained therein if the notifier has become aware of them in the context of the exercise of his official, employment or other similar relationship with the Industrial Property Office and if the conduct notified meets at least one of the following conditions

(a) it has the elements of a criminal offence,

(b) it has the characteristics of a misdemeanour for which the law provides for a fine with an upper limit of at least CZK 100,000,

(c) it violates the Whistleblower Protection Act; or

(d) violates another legal regulation or a regulation of the European Union in the field of

  1. financial services, statutory audit and other assurance services, financial products and financial markets,
  2. corporate income tax,
  3. the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing,
  4. consumer protection,
  5. compliance with product requirements, including product safety,
  6. transport and road safety,
  7. protection of the environment,
  8. food and feed safety and animal health,
  9. radiation protection and nuclear safety,
  10. competition, public auctions and public procurement,
  11. protection of internal order and security, life and health,
  12. protection of personal data, privacy and security of electronic communications networks and information systems,
  13. the protection of the financial interests of the European Union, or
  14. the functioning of the internal market, including the protection of competition and state aid under European Union law.

Protection of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers who make a notification under the Whistleblower Protection Act are protected from retaliation by the Office. The main mechanism of protection is the confidentiality of the information communicated, where only the Competent Person knows the identity of the notifier and only the competent person has access to the files kept on individual notifications. 

Retaliation is defined as an act or omission in connection with the whistleblower's work or other similar activity that is triggered by the making of a notification and that may cause harm to the whistleblower. The whistleblower shall not be subjected to retaliation, nor shall

(a) a person who has provided assistance in ascertaining the information contained in the notification, making the notification or assessing the validity of the notification,

(b) a person who is close to the whistleblower,

(c) a person who is an employee or colleague of the notifier,

(d) a person controlled by the notifier,

(e) a legal person in which the notifier has an interest, a person controlling it, a person controlled by it or a person who is controlled by the same controlling person as the legal person,

(f) a legal person of which the whistleblower is a member of an elected body, a person controlling, controlled or controlled by the same controlling person,

(g) a person for whom the whistleblower performs work or other similar activity; or

(h) a trust of which the whistleblower or a legal person referred to in point (e) or (f) is a founder or a beneficiary or in relation to which the whistleblower or a legal person referred to in point (e) or (f) is a person who substantially increases the assets of the trust by contract or by acquisition on death.

Protection against retaliation shall not be available to a person who made a notification without having reasonable grounds to believe that it was based on true information (knowingly false notification).

The notification can be sent to the Competent Person by e-mail to oznameni@upv.gov.cz.

To submit a notification in paper form, please sign the envelope „Pouze k rukám Mgr. Jana Říhy“ and send the envelope to the Industrial Property Office (Antonína Čermáka 1057/2a, 160 00 Prague 6 - Bubeneč). The notification in paper form may also be submitted at the Office's public desk. The notification may also be submitted by telephone at 245 005 302. The notification may be received in person only upon prior request of the notifier.

Pursuant to § Section 9(2)(a) and § Section 9(2)(b)(3) of the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Industrial Property Office excludes the receipt of notifications from persons who do not perform work or other similar activities at the Industrial Property Office pursuant to § Section 2(3)(a)(b), (h) or (i) of the Whistleblower Protection Act.