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“Muni” is now a trademark

The Czech Industrial Property Office has confirmed that the word “Muni” has become a distinguishing term after years of use.

The monthly newspaper as well as the website of the university are labelled “Muni” and from mid-August, this term belongs solely to Masaryk University. The university registered its Czech trademark with the Industrial Property Office through its Technology Transfer Office.

“‘Muni’ has been increasingly used to denote the university or events and activities related to the university,” explains Tereza Fojtová, the university spokesperson. “The university is now called Muni not only by students, but also by the general public. In response to this development, the university has decided to protect the name to prevent confusion in the case of an unauthorised use of the term.”

The process was not easy and it took about a year and a half to obtain the trademark. “Before registering the trademark, we had to deal with a so-called conflicting application. This application was submitted in 2013 by the Association of Students and Graduates, which was then running several student beauty pageants and one of them was called Miss MUNI Brno,” says Markéta Vlasáková, an intellectual property manager at the MU Technology Transfer Office, who is responsible for trademarks. Despite the name, the university did not have anything to do with the contest and decided to file a protest.

This year, the Industrial Property Office decided in favour of the university. The decision of the Office says that “Due to years of use, the term ‘Muni’ is now a distinguishing term,” and agrees that the pageants could profit from the reputation of the university. The trademark is valid for ten years and can be renewed when this period expires.