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Trademark Opposition Process | Trademark Opposition Rules

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Trademark registration involves the registration of company’s logo, brand name, etc. to secure legal protection against its use by the others. In aeon of the competitive market, it is really difficult for entrepreneurs or business operators to establish their business and create a brand of their own.

This is really difficult with the same/ similar product category and class, in order to distinguish them from their competitors; one has to choose way that their name would be enough to identify their product. They even need to protect their product from the miss-branding and also want to build a place in mark then, it is crucial for you to register your bran/ logo under the government of India as “TRADEMARK.”

What is Trademark Registration?

A Trademark can be a brand name or logo, taglines, captions, business name etc. In order to take the ownership on the brand name or logo, taglines etc, we need to apply for the Trademark Registration.

Trademark can be a symbol or word, used by the business operator in order to promote their goods or services. In case of similar business objective, it can also be used to discriminate one service from another.

Trademark Registration provides a right or ownership to the business operators, to protect their brand name from the use or misuse by any other.

Advantages of Trademark Registration

  • It provides legal right and protection to the owner against infringement
  • Creates brand value and a place in market
  • Provides a recognition of the quality and purity of the product or services
  • Helps in establishing goodwill and trust of the products for customers
  • Can apply for Global Trademark Registration In future

It is not necessary that the applied trademark application will surely get approved. Thereare numerous reason due to which a trademark application can get reject.

According to the Trademark Act, the authorities can refuse to register a trademark under two cases –

  • Trademark objection
  • Trademark opposition.

Trademark Objection v/s Trademark Opposition

According to Trademark Act –

  1. Trademark examiner canraise a trademark objection under Section 11 or Sections 9(1) of the Trademarks Act.
  2. The trademark opposition can be raised by any person when the trademark will be published in trademark journal under the Trademark Act of India.

Similar to the process of replying towards the Trademark Objection there is a procedure for replying to Trademark Opposition as well.

Trademark Opposition

When the application for registering the trademark is applied, it is reviewed by Trademark Controller. Once the review and documents scrutiny is done, and no similar or identical trademark is found, the examiner approves it and is published it in the Trademark Journal.

Objective to publish it in Trademark Journal –

The main objective for publishing the applied trademark in the Journal is - to let everyone review the trademark and file for a Trademark Opposition against it if required.

A trademark opposition is raised by a third-party if they find any similarity or any other issue with the applied application. The status of the application gets changed to “opposed” if anybody files an opposition against your trademark,

Who can file TM Opposition?

As per Section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 –

  • Any individual who have similar or identical trademark for the similar goods or service. The individual may have TM certificate or may have applied for TM.
  • Any entity (private limited company. LLP. Trust etc) can file the notice of trademark opposition.
  • If a person is using the similar or same trademark before the client. And have not obtained the trademark registration certificate or haven’t applied for the same.

Time limit for filing an Opposition

The opponent can file the notice for TM opposition within four months from the date of the trademark published in the TM Journal.

Grounds on which a Trademark Opposition can be raised

There are several grounds on which a person can raise a TM opposition. Some of them are as follows:

  • Resemblance with existing TM
  • Violation of the Name and Emblem Act, 1950.
  • The trademark is descriptive in nature.
  • Contradiction with the law.
  • If the sentiments of a particular religion, community, society or any specific class of people are gashed.
  • Seems to cause confusion or mislead the public.

Where to file the Notice

It can be filled at the registry of Trademark, at the same place where the other has applied to the conflicting mark.

Procedure For Trademark Opposition

Filing a notice of opposition

  • Any person or entity willing to raise an opposition needs to file within four months from the date of publishing.

Filing a counter statement

  • The entity can file the counter-statement within two months of the receiving of the notice of opposition.
  • If the applicant fails to submit the counter statement, then the TM authority can abandoned the TM application

Evidence regarding the TM opposition

  • If the applicant has submitted the Counter-Statement within the required time,then the opponent have to present the evidence via an Affidavit.

Evidence in favour of Application

  • On the submission of the evidence in support of TM opposition by the opponent, the applicant will be provided with three months for presenting the evidence in favour of the application, if any.

Hearing

  • Based on all the above facts, the Registrar at trademark registry shall call for a hearing.
  • The Registrar of Trademark will hear the matter and take the decision upon merits.

Rejection or Registration

  • If the evidence hold valid for the applicant, then trademark will be registered and the applicant will receive the trademark registration certificate.
  • However, if the decision is in favour of the opposition, then the trademark application will be rejected

Conclusion  

Trademark Opposition is just an opposition raised by the third party which ultimately results in prohibiting the trademark registration of the applied trademark application.

If the opposition is raised, it doesn’t mean that one will not get the certificate. Although the process is quite tedious, you can take the help of professionals to make the process of TM opposition easy. With proper revert to the Trademark Controller, one can easily get the registration certificate.

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Author
Vipan Singh
Vipan is known for his passion for diversity and his work with corpseed. In his spare time, he is involved with numerous charitable activities and considers his greatest achievement to be the fact that he helps Startups and Entrepreneurs to scale up