Trademark Opposition


Trademark Opposition

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Trademark Opposition

Trademark opposition is a legal proceeding initiated by a third party to challenge the registration of a trademark. The opposition is usually filed with the trademark office within a specified period after the trademark has been published in the official gazette. The opposition can be filed on various grounds, including the similarity of the trademark to an existing registered trademark, the lack of distinctiveness of the trademark, or the likelihood of confusion among consumers. If the opposition is successful, the trademark registration may be refused or cancelled.
eligibility of Trademark Opposition

Trademark opposition can be filed by any person who believes that the registration of a particular trademark would cause them harm or that the trademark is not eligible for registration. The person filing the opposition does not need to be the owner of an existing trademark or have any other specific relationship with the trademark being opposed. However, it is important to note that the opposition must be filed within the specified time period and must meet the requirements set forth by the relevant trademark office.

Procedure for Trademark Opposition

Trademark opposition is a legal proceeding in which a third party files an objection to the registration of a trademark. The opposition process is designed to ensure that trademarks do not infringe on existing marks, and to protect the rights of existing trademark owners. Here is a detailed explanation of the procedure for trademark opposition:

  1. Filing of Notice of Opposition: The first step in the trademark opposition process is the filing of a notice of opposition. This notice must be filed within the prescribed time limit, which is generally three months from the publication of the trademark application in the official gazette.

  2. Grounds for Opposition: The notice of opposition must state the grounds for opposition. These grounds can include any of the absolute or relative grounds for refusal of registration of a trademark, such as prior use of a similar mark, lack of distinctiveness, etc.

  3. Counter Statement: After the notice of opposition is filed, the trademark applicant has an opportunity to file a counter statement within two months. This counter statement must address the grounds for opposition and set out the applicant’s case for why the trademark should be registered.

  4. Evidence: Once the counter statement is filed, the opponent has an opportunity to file evidence in support of their opposition. This evidence may include witness statements, expert reports, or any other evidence that supports their case.

  5. Evidence in Reply: The trademark applicant may then file evidence in reply to the opponent’s evidence. This evidence may rebut the opponent’s evidence or provide additional evidence in support of the application.

  6. Hearing: Once the evidence is filed, the parties will have a hearing before the Registrar of Trademarks. At the hearing, each party will have an opportunity to present their case and to respond to the other party’s case.

  7. Decision: After the hearing, the Registrar of Trademarks will make a decision on the opposition. If the opposition is successful, the trademark application will be refused. If the opposition is unsuccessful, the trademark will be registered.

  8. Appeal: If either party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Registrar of Trademarks, they may appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). The IPAB has the power to review the decision and to make a new decision based on the evidence presented.


Trademark opposition is an important legal proceeding that allows third parties to object to the registration of a trademark. The procedure for trademark opposition is complex and involves several steps, including the filing of a notice of opposition, the filing of evidence, and a hearing before the Registrar of Trademarks. If you are considering filing an opposition to a trademark application, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified trademark attorney.

Time Limit for Trademark Opposition

In India, a trademark opposition can be filed within four months of the publication of the trademark application in the Trade Marks Journal. The four-month period is counted from the date of publication of the trademark application in the Trade Marks Journal.

If no opposition is filed during this period, the trademark application proceeds for registration, subject to any objections raised by the trademark examiner. It’s important to note that the four-month period cannot be extended. Once this period has expired, a trademark opposition cannot be filed.

trademark application

A trademark application is a formal request made to a government agency, typically a trademark office, for the registration of a trademark. A trademark is a unique symbol, word, phrase, design, or a combination thereof, that distinguishes the goods or services of one party from those of others in the marketplace.

The trademark application process varies depending on the country or jurisdiction in which the application is being filed, but typically includes the following elements:

  1. Filing of Application: The first step in the trademark application process is to file a trademark application with the appropriate government agency. The application typically includes information about the applicant, a description of the goods or services associated with the trademark, and a representation of the trademark itself.

  2. Examination: After the application is filed, a trademark examiner will review it to determine whether the proposed trademark is eligible for registration. The examiner will typically review the application for issues such as confusion with existing trademarks, compliance with trademark laws and regulations, and distinctiveness of the trademark.

  3. Publication: If the trademark application is approved by the examiner, the trademark is typically published in a government gazette or other publication, giving notice to the public of the pending application.

  4. Opposition: During the publication period, third parties who believe that they may be harmed by the registration of the trademark can file an opposition to the application. This opposition may be based on a number of grounds, including prior use of a similar trademark, likelihood of confusion with an existing trademark, or issues with the distinctiveness of the trademark.

  5. Registration: If there are no oppositions to the trademark application, or if the oppositions are successfully overcome, the trademark will typically be registered and a certificate of registration will be issued. This certificate provides the owner of the trademark with exclusive rights to use the trademark in connection with the goods or services associated with the trademark.

  6. Renewal: Trademark registration typically lasts for a specified period, such as 10 years, after which it must be renewed in order to maintain the registration.

Overall, the trademark application process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful attention to detail and a thorough understanding of trademark law and regulations. It is often advisable to work with a qualified trademark attorney or agent to ensure that the application is filed correctly and to help navigate any challenges or issues that may arise during the application process.

Details about the opposing party when filing a trademark opposition may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Here are some possible scenarios and the corresponding details that may be required:

Opposing PartyDetails Required
Trademark owner of an earlier markName and address of the trademark owner and an indication that they are the trademark owner of such trademark
Trademark licenseeName and address of the trademark licensee along with an indication that they have been authorized to enter the opposition
Successor to the registered trademark ownerName and address of the successor and an indication of the date on which the application for registration of the new proprietor was received by the appropriate office or where this information is not available, was sent to the appropriate office
Party outside IndiaName and address of the opposing party and address of service in India
Authorized representativeName and address of the authorized representative who is acquainted with the case’s facts and has signed the notice of the opposition

It’s important to note that the specific requirements for details about the opposing party may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific regulations governing trademark oppositions. It’s recommended to consult with a legal professional or trademark agent to ensure that all necessary details are included when filing a trademark opposition.


Trademark Objection FAQ’s

  1. What is the concept of Trademark Opposition? Answer: Trademark Opposition is a legal process that allows any person to raise objections against the registration of a trademark if they believe that it could damage their brand name or company reputation.

  2. What is the time limit for filing a Trademark Opposition? Answer: The Opposition notice must be filed within three months of the trademark publication in the trademark journal. It can be extended by one month upon providing sufficient reasons for the delay.

  3. What happens if the Trademark Opposition is filed after three months? Answer: If the opposition is filed between three and four months from the publication date, it should be accompanied by a request for an extension and valid reasons for the delay.

  4. Who can file for a Trademark Opposition? Answer: Anyone can file for a Trademark Opposition, but it is usually done by the trademark owner or someone with similar goods and services to the contested mark.

  5. Is it possible to raise a Trademark Opposition for an unregistered mark? Answer: Yes, it is possible to raise a Trademark Opposition even if the mark is not registered or pending. The common law of rights applies to prevent the sale of goods and services.

  6. Is a Power of Attorney mandatory while filing for Trademark Opposition? Answer: Generally, a Power of Attorney is required at the time of filing the opposition notice. However, it can be submitted later if it’s not immediately available.

  7. Where should the Trademark Opposition be filed? Answer: The opposition notice should be filed at the trademark registry where the conflicting mark’s application was filed.