A trademark opposition is a process in which a trademark that has been published in the journal while going through the process of trademark registration is opposed. This particular process happens during the 4 month period in which the trademark is advertised. In this blog, we are going to take you through the strides that you have to follow to oppose a trademark within this period.
How to oppose a trademark?
Before we dive into the process of trademark opposition, there are some conditions to it and they are as follows:
1. The opposition can only be filed while the trademark is advertised in the journal for 4 months.
2. The opposition should have some weight and effectiveness. To that end, you should have a proper reason to oppose trademark registration. These grounds of opposition are as follows:
- Absolute ground: These are the grounds on which the trademark is fully against the laws of trademark registration. These grounds are direct and a bit more apparent.
- Relative ground: These are the grounds where the trademarks are indirectly confusing the public. They mostly entail everything related to deception about the trademark. They are not as apparent and also hard to prove.
Once you have these two conditions covered, you can take the steps to oppose a trademark.
Also Read: Trademark Opposition in India: The Complete Guide
Trademark Opposition Process
- Filing the notice: You will first have to file a notice of opposition and submit it to the Registrar of the trademark. The registrar will serve the same to the one whose trademark is opposed against.
- Wait for the counter-statement: Within the next 2 months, you, the one who has filed the notice of opposition is going to be served a counter statement regarding your opposition. This counter-statement would entail the grounds on which they have applied for trademark registration.
In case you do not receive any such counter-statement, the trademark application of the opposed trademark will be abandoned.
- Countering the counter-statement: Now, when you receive the counter-statement from the owner of an opposed trademark, you will have to file your own counter-statement and submit it to the Registrar. Your counterstatement should not only entail the statement, but also the evidence that you have to support your opposition towards the mark. This is going to happen within the next 2 months of you receiving the counter-statement.
- Final hearing of Trademark: Now, the statement of both the parties are going to be considered and based on the decision resulting through that, it is decided as to whether to abandon the trademark or to follow it through. If your reasons were right the trademark was still not opposed against, you can get in touch with The Property Appellate Board and appeal before them. However, this appeal is the absolute final option and you can hope to see some positive results in the hearing only.
A trademark opposition is something that has to be put in place so that the underserved do not have access to the trademarks that they do not own. On the other hand, this tool can also be used toward negative ends. Therefore make sure that you are in the right when you are deciding upon opposing someone else’s trademark.