Trademark Opposition is filled by the outsider party on the later stage after filing of Trademark application and when the Trademark is accepted & advertised by the Trademark Authority. A trademark opposition prevents the party to use our mark which is filled by us before the trademark registry. The opposition party could raise opposition against the trademark application under the Trademark Act of India. The Trademark opposition is generally filled by the third party against the registration of your Trademark.
The Party files an Opposition called “OPPONENT”.
Who Can File a Trademark Opposition?
Every Person, whether artificial or natural on the earth has the right to file an opposition by giving a notice of opposition under section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999. The Opposition can be filed jointly if more than one person has the same issues on the same Trademark. In general sense following these interested parties’ files a Trademark opposition ---
- Owner of the registered trademark
- “Prior User” i.e., a person who has not registered his trademark, but uses it for a long time.
What are the steps to file an Opposition and its further process?
Trademark Opposition is not a simple task and it is diversified in too few different stages:
- Filing of an Opposition Notice: A Desirous person can file the opposition notice against the Trademark which is published in a journal within four months from the date of Advertisement of Trademark.
- Filing of Counter-Statement against Opposition Notice: When the Registrar of Trademark is satisfied with the Notice of an Opposition, he issues a copy of the notice of an Opposition to the Trademark Applicant, and further Trademark Applicant has the 2 months’ time to file a counter-statement against opposition notice from the date of receipt of Copy of Opposition.
- Filing of Evidence by Opponent: Evidence has to fill with an affidavit by the opponent within 2 months from the date of receipt of notice of Counter statement. Such time may be extended by 1 month if the registrar is satisfied with the reason for the delay and by failing of which the opposition shall be treated as “ABANDONED”.
- Filing of an Evidence by Trademark Applicant: The Trademark Applicant is also required to file an Evidence with Affidavit within 2 months from the date of receipt of notice of the filing of an Evidence by Opponent. Further, If the Trademark Applicant does not wish to file the evidence, then he should inform by notice to Registrar and the Opponent.
- Hearing: After filing of evidence by both the parties, the Trademark authority issues a hearing notice at least one month after the first hearing date on which the parties have to appear in person or by virtual(online) through their legal counsel. After taking all the consideration of both the parties the registrar decides the opposed application that whether it can be registered or the opposition is canceled.
Time Limit to File an Opposition under Trademark
Opposition can be filed within 4 months from the date of publication of the Trademark in the journal and there is no extension of time would be given by the trademark authority if it is not filed in stipulated time. If a person files an opposition beyond the time limit, the opposition proceedings are deemed to be “Abandoned”.