Opposition in Trademarks is the next procedure when Trademark has been advertised in the journals then the trademark is open for opposition purposes for a compulsory period of Four (4) months. In case no opposition filed within the stipulated period then the mark shall proceed for its registration. The main purpose behind its advertising is that if any person feels that a third person’s trademark is similar to his then he can file opposition and can claim for its mark further.
Who can Oppose a Trademark Application in India?
Any person may oppose a Trademark. The person who is opposing must not be necessarily a registered proprietor, he can be purchaser, customer or a member of goods which the public are using at large. The rationale behind this is that the opponent does not represent himself only but a public at large, therefore two similar marks could cause confusion in the mind of people.
What is the period within which notice of opposition can be filed?
The notice of opposition has to be filed within 4 (Four) months from the date of publication of mark in the Trademark Journal. The period is not extendable under any circumstance.
What are the stages in an opposition proceedings?
- Stage 1- Filing of Notice of Opposition/ Filing a Counter Statement- Any person who thinks that the applied mark is similar to his mark which is already a known mark in market then he can proceed with filing of an Opposition on a prescribed form (TM-O) within Four (4) months of the advertisement of the mark. Then filing of the opposition registry would send notice of opposition to the other party, and upon the notice 2 (two) months time is given to the applicant to file a counter statement. The counter statement is first sent to the registry and then the registry would send that to the opponent.
- Stage 2- Filing of Evidence in support of Opposition- After receiving the counter statement to the applicant, the Opponent may file evidence through Affidavit in its support under rule 45. However, providing evidence is not mandatory as they can rely on the facts stated in the notice of opposition.
- Stage 3- Filing of evidence in support of Counter-Statement- Within two months of receiving the evidence/ intimation of waiver by the opponent, the Applicant ahs to file evidence in support of his counter statement/ evidence. The applicant has also an option to waive his right to submit any evidence.
- Stage 4- Filing of Evidence in Reply- Within one month of receiving the evidence/ waiver opponent again has to file evidence in support of his opposition. This option is given to achieve some sort of finality in the proceedings to rebut the evidence produced by the applicant.
- Stage 5- Hearing- After completing all the procedures mentioned above, hearing is appointed by the registry and parties are notified. After hearing of the parties and considering the evidence, the Registrar shall decide whether the Trademark is to be accepted or not.