Trademark Opposition

After Trademark is published in the journal, an applicant can oppose the registration of the trademark.

Trademark Opposition

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What is a Trademark Opposition?

A trademark opposition is a legal objection to the right to register a particular trademark. A trademark opposition is started by filing a notice of opposition. The trademark notice of opposition must be filed within 3 months of the date that the trademark application is advertised for the opposition.

It is is required at a stage after the registrar approves the trademark application and publish it in the journal for 3rd party opposition. If the mark is opposed, an opposition proceeding are started. After which both parties are involved to come out with the decision that is agreeable and fair for both of them.

Who can apply for Trademark Opposition Proceeding?

As per Section 21 of the Trademark Act 1999, “any person” can file a notice of opposition. The people who can file a trademark opposition can be :

  • Any legal person or a company, partnership firm, LLP, a private company, business, etc. 
  • Even the Trademark Opposition can be filed by an Indian or Foreign Customer.
  • Member of the Public or Competitor 
  • Also, if two or more persons have similar problems upon a trademark, they can be joined together as opponents.
  • Previously Registered-The owner of an earlier trademark application or registration comprising a similar Trademark for similar goods.
  • Former User- A person who has applied the same or a similar trademark earlier to the client, but who haven’t registered his trademark.
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What is the need for Trademark Opposition?

The need for Trademark opposition is easy to understand that when the trademark application is approved by the registrar it’s published in the journal, so that the third party can oppose the application if they find the trademark to be similar to the existing marks. The Trademark opposition is also required to avoid the other conflicts which can be resolved easily and quickly.

What is the need for Trademark Opposition?

The benefits of Trademark opposition are:

  1. Trademark opposition plays a very important role as it is a chance for the registered trademark owners to prevent any other mark that can hinder their brand or create any possible uncertainty in the market. 
  2. As the brand is built by the public popularity and demand, it is very essential to consult the public for approval about the registrability of the applied trademark.
  3. Member of the Public or Competitor 
  4. Trademark Opposition saves time and money rather than involving in many other jurisdictions. Opposition proceedings are usually less costly and faster means for parties to settle conflicting trademark rights for a trademark application.
  5. It is essentially a process to protect your trademark being misused by the others or to hinder someone trying to take advantage of your creativity or efforts without your approval.

What are the Grounds of Trademark Opposition?

The grounds available for filing a Trademark Opposition in India will depend on the facts and circumstances of every case.

  1. Trademark is the same or identical to an earlier or existing registered trademark.
  2. A mark is primarily only a surname.
  3. Trademark is a universal term for the associated wares or services (in any language).
  4. Application for the trademark is built with bad faith.
  5. If the trademark is descriptive.
  6. Mark is opposed to the law or is restricted by law.
  7. The mark is disreputable, offensive or unethical
  8. Trademark is banned under the Emblem and Names Act, 1950
  9. Mark comprises matter that may hurt the religious beliefs of any class or section of people.
  10. Any mark confusing with different trademark, official mark, an Olympic mark or a geographical indication enrolled in India.
  11. Another party had earlier use of the mark or a confusingly alike mark in India.
  12. Trademark is devoid of distinctive character
  13. The trademark is likely to mislead the public or cause confusion.

Important Aspects of Filing Trademark Opposition