What is Trademark Opposition?
A legal challenge made against a trademark’s registration by a third party is known as trademark opposition. Through this procedure, third parties can object to the registration of a new trademark application that they feel may violate their rights to an existing brand or confuse customers by being confusingly similar to an already-registered trademark. The Trademark opposition is filed within four months from the date of advertisement of the re-advertisement of the trademark in the Indian Trademark Journal by filing a form TM-O along with the prescribed fee.
Who can oppose the trademark?
‘Any person’ can object to a trademark under Section 21 of the Trademark Act, regardless of their personal or business interest in the subject matter. A trademark can be contested by a competitor, client, member of the public, or any other individual. Additionally, the party opposing the trademark must be the previous owner of a registered trademark. Following the filing of a trademark opposition, both parties must decide whether to register or abandon the trademark. While protecting the trademark rests with the trademark registrant, anybody who feels that the published mark can cause confusion among the public may file for the opposition.
When do you receive the Trademark Opposition?
The trademark opposition can be raised in the same matters as the trademark opposition except for the matter that has been approved by the Registrar. A few of such possible grounds to be raised are as follows:
- Extensive Similarity
In case the filed trademark application holds a certain similarity with an already existing mark in the register, then in such a scenario, it is expected that you will experience trademark objection.
- Inapt Content
In some cases where the descriptive content pertaining to the mark is inappropriate and against the guidelines prescribed under the applicable law, then it is expected that the registrar will raise an objection against the mark.
- Misleading Mark
If the mark filed for trademark registration is deceptive in terms of presentability, meaning that it appears to be some other mark that already holds certain popularity and market reputation under their mark, then the application is objected to.
- Non-distinctive or Unclear Design
Sometimes, the marks are unclear, be it in improper image clarity or not particularly defined marks when it comes to drawing a clarity under the mark, then the application is subject to objection.
- Improper Symbol usage
There are certain symbols that are prohibited to be used while crafting a mark for your business. Such marks sometimes include national emblems, government signs, etc. If your mark filed for registration holds any such symbol, then the application received an objection.
- Bad faith projection
If it is visible with the mark that the applicant intends to register the mark in bad faith with underlying dishonest intentions to confuse the consumers with the brand chosen, value provided, and goodwill established in another name, there, as well, the opposition can be filed.
How to deal with Trademark Opposition?
Step 1: Opposition Notice and counter statement
Firstly, you have to file a counter statement against the notice you received. Generally, you receive the notice within four months of trademark advertisement or re-advertisement in the Indian Trade Marks Journal. The notice is filed using form TM-O either online or offline by paying the prescribed fee along with the ground of opposition. You now have to file a counter statement defending the ground used, along with evidence, within two months from the date of such receipt. A counter statement filed later than two months will lead to abandonment of the application as there is no extension available to file the Counter Statement.
Step 2: Response to counter-statement with evidence
Upon the receipt of the counter statement, the opposing party is required to respond within two months, along with evidence to support their claims made in the Notice of Opposition, which can also include an affidavit and other evidence. It is suggested to reply to the counter statement; however, the response is not mandatory and can be waived off by the opposing party by informing the Trade Marks Registry in India within the prescribed time, or else, the proceedings are tagged as abandoned.
Step 3: Evidence in response
If chosen to respond with the supportive evidence by the opposing party, the applicant can also file the evidence in support of his counter statement, or else can choose to waive off the opportunity by filing a letter to the Trademark Registry of India. Otherwise, one should file the evidence within one month.
Step 4: Hearing
Upon the successful documentation process, the Registrar shall provide the parties the opportunity to be heard and present their case before the Registrar as per Section 21(5) of the Act. The registrar notifies the parties regarding the hearing and the date for the same. Each party presents its case with evidence to support it before the registrar. On evaluation, the registrar renders a judgement in support of one party, stating whether the trademark shall be registered or denied.
How is trademark opposition different from Trademark Objection?
|Trademark opposition is raised by the third party who has an issue with the trademark proposed for registration.
|Trademark objection is raised by the registrar on the evaluation if anything is found not in harmony with the guidelines.
|Trademark opposition should be raised within two months of the publication of the said trademark .
|If an objection is raised, one must file the counter response within four months from the receipt of the notice of objection.
|To raise the opposition, the said party needs to pay a certain fee to file the trademark opposition.
|There are no fees required to be paid as the objection is raised by the Registrar.
|The process is an entirely different process than that of trademark registration.
|It is the intrinsic part of the entire process of trademark registration.
|The application is undeniable without uplifting the Audi alteram Partem.
|The application is undeniable without uplifting the Audi alteram Partem.
|In Trademark’s opposition, there is a scope for filing an appeal in case of dissatisfaction with the judgement.
|In Trademark objection, there is a scope of filing an appeal in case of dissatisfaction with the judgement.
How does RegisterKaro help with the Trademark Opposition?
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- Client-oriented approach
Our team of experts is well trained and equipped with a client-oriented approach, keeping in mind that the process must be client-centric, focusing on meeting all the requirements of their business and, therefore, satisfying their needs.
- Process Alteration
For the fact that we focus on a client-centric approach, we keep our process structurization open for the client to alter it as per their need, requirements, and vision. For us, obtaining the best results is the focus, along with the Client satisfaction.
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- What are the grounds for opposition to the trademark?
There are many grounds for trademark opposition, and a few of them are deceptive marks, inappropriate design, improper usage of symbols, prohibited content, bad faith projection, etc.
- How do I check if a trademark is opposed?
If your trademark has been opposed by a third party, you will surely receive a notice of opposition for the same tentatively within four months from the date of advertisement or re-advertisement of the trademark in the Indian Trademark Journal.
- What is trademark objection in India?
Trademark objection in India is the objection raised by the registrar itself in case of finding certain factors inappropriate for approval, which may include deceptive and misleading marks, inadequate information, bad faith projection, wrong form usage, application error, incorrect information, etc.
- What is the fee for trademark opposition?
The standard fee for filing the trademark opposition in class one is Rs 2700
- What is the opposition process?
In order to raise for the Trademark opposition, you will have to file a form TM-O for filing the notice of opposition within four months from the date of the advertisement or rea-advertisement of the trademark in the Indian Trademark Journal, along with the fee payment.
- What is the difference between trademark objection and trademark opposition?
Trademark opposition is raised by the third party who has an issue with the trademark proposed for registration, whereas Trademark objection is raised by the registrar on the evaluation if anything is found not in harmony with the guidelines.
- How do I withdraw a trademark opposition?
You can withdraw the trademark opposition by filing the application for withdrawal with the Indian Trademark Registry within one month from the date of filing the notice of opposition.
- What is the opposition period?
You are required to file the opposition for the trademark within four months from the date of advertisement or re-advertisement of the trademark in the Indian Trademark Journal.
- Who can file a notice of opposition?
‘Any person’ can object to a trademark under Section 21 of the Trademark Act, regardless of their personal or business interest in the subject matter. A trademark can be contested by a competitor, client, member of the public, or any other individual. Additionally, the party opposing the trademark must be the previous owner of a registered trademark.
- What is trademark objection?
Trademark objection is raised by the registrar on the evaluation if anything not in harmony with the guidelines is found, such as the mark being inadequately descriptive, misleading, inappropriate symbol usage, prohibited content, wrong form usage, application errors, etc.