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Trademark Opposition

Who can file trademark opposition?

Who can file trademark opposition?

During the trademark registration process, members of the public are provided with an opportunity to oppose a trademark filing and prevent the mark from being registered. In this article, we look at the trademark opposition process and who can file a trademark opposition.

Trademark Opposition Process

After advertisement of a trademark in the Trade Marks Journal, any person can oppose registration of the trademark for a period of 3 months (which may be extended by a period not exceeding 1 month). Trademark opposition filings can be done only at the Trademark Registrars office and cannot be taken directly to a Court or the Appellate Board (IPAB). If a trademark opposition is successful, the registration of the trademark will be refused. If the trademark opposition application is rejected, the trademark will be registered.

Who can file trademark opposition?

According to Section 21 of the Trademark Act, “any person” can file a trademark notice, irrespective of commercial or personal interest in the matter. The question of bona fides of the opponent does not arise. Hence, trademark opposition filing can be filed by a customer, member of the public or competitor or any other person. Also, the person filing the trademark opposition need not be a prior registered trade mark owner.

Trademark Opposition Filing

A trademark opposition notice must the following four elements:

  1. Details of the trademark application against which the opposition is entered:
    1. The application number against which opposition is entered along with an indication of the goods or services listed in the trade mark application against which opposition is entered and the name of the applicant for the trade mark.
  2. Details of earlier mark or the earlier right on which the opposition is based:
    1. If the opposition is on account of an existing trademark application or registered trademark, then application number or registration number of the earlier mark. If the opposition is based on an mark which is alleged to be a well known trade mark, then an indication to that effect in which country or territory the earlier mark is recognized to be well known.
  3. Details of the opposing party:
    1. If the opposition is entered by the proprietor of an earlier mark or of the earlier right, his name and address and an indication that he is the proprietor of such mark or right. If the opposition is entered by the successor in title to the registered proprietor of a trade mark who has not yet been registered as new proprietor, the name and address of the opposing party and an indication of the date on which the application for registration of the new proprietor was received by the appropriate office. If the opposing party has no place of business in India, the name of the opponents and his address for service in India.
  4. Grounds on which the opposition is based.

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