Trademark Opposition

Trademark Opposition is proceeding before the Registrar, where one party seeks to prevent another from registering a trademark by filing an opposition proceeding before the Registrar of Trademark in the manner as prescribed in the Trademarks Act and rules therein.

WHO MAY OPPOSE THE APPLICATION?

Section 21 of The Trademark Act,1999 state that any personmay give a notice of opposition to the registration of a trade mark may it be a natural person or artificial juridical person.
Generally, the opposition is made by already registered trademark owner or person having prior use of similar or identical mark assuming that their right is likelihood to be affected if such trademark is registered.

GROUNDS OF OPPOSITION

• Opposition on the basis of absolute grounds as mentioned in Section 9 of the Act.
• Opposition on the basis of absolute grounds as mentioned in Section 11 of the Act.
• Opposition on the basis of prohibition contained in Section 13 of the Act.
• Opposition in case of absence of consent in writing in Section 14
• Opposition with regard to the proprietorship of the trade mark opposed.
• Opposition on the ground not specified under the law.

There are various reasons a trademark opposition may be opposed mentioned below

• The trademark is similar or identical to an earlier or existing registered trademark.
• The trademark is devoid of distinctive character.
• The trademark is descriptive.
• The trademark registration application is made with bad faith.
• The trademark is customary in the current language and or in the established practices of a business.
• The trademark is likely to deceive the public or cause confusion.
• The trademark is contrary to the law or prevented by law.
• The trademark is prohibited under the Emblem and Names Act, 1950.
• The trademark contains matters that are likely to hurt any class or section of people's religious feelings

Time Period for filing Notice of opposition

Within FOUR MONTHS from the date of advertisement or re- advertisement of an application for registration in the Trademarks Journal opposition may be filed to the Registrar in the manner as prescribed in the Trademarks Act and rules therein on payment of prescribed fee.any class or section of people's religious feelings

Opposition Notice

Any person can file a notice of opposition on a trademark that appears on the trademark journal within four months from the first date of appearance.
It must be filed in the prescribed manner and applicable fees.

Counter-Statement

After the trademark opposition notice is filed with the registrar, the registrar would serve a copy of the trademark opposition notice to the trademark applicant. Within two months of receipt of the trademark, opposition notices the trademark applicant must file the counter statement.
If the trademark applicant fails to file the counter statement within the specified period, the trademark application shall be "abandoned.
ny class or section of people's religious feelings

Hearing

After the evidence filing stage is over, the registrar shall send notices to both parties stating the date of hearing, which shall be at least one month after the date of the first notice. The hearing is based on the notice of opposition, the counter-statement filing, and the filed evidence. The registrar hears the matter by the registrar, and if any of the parties does not show up for the hearing, the registrar will rule against him.any class or section of people's religious feelings

Appeals

Based on the review of the evidence submitted and the hearing of both the parties, the registrar decides whether the opposition was successful at doing so and, in turn, determines whether the trademark should be registered or not. However, the party aggrieved by the registrar's decision may challenge the same by filing an appeal before the Intellectual property Appellate Board

Disposal of Opposition

After completion of the formality check and submission of the evidences hearing is fixed to represent their cases by the opponent as well as applicant.
After conclusion of the hearing the Hearing officer give his decisions along with facts and materials considered by him in arriving at such decisions, at the earliest, the decision is communicated to the parties concerned as per procedure & practice of the Trademarks Registry and the status of opposition & application opposed is updated accordingly.

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