Is there an opposition procedure in Russia?
Russian pending trademark applications (or pending international registrations designating Russia) are not published for opposition by third parties, and search among prior rights is carried out by examiners of the Russian PTO. In case an examiner finds a trademark(s) protected in Russia and/or a trademark application(s) with earlier priority, which is considered confusingly similar to the claimed mark, an Office Action shall be issued.
Nonetheless, if one makes watching and reveals a conflicting trademark application, any interested person can file with the Russian PTO third party observations containing reasons impeding registration of the trademark – pursuant to Article 1493 of the Code. Such observations will be taken into account by an Examiner, and an Office Action is usually issued in connection thereto. Third party observations shall be filed before the substantive examination of the trademark application in question is finalized (substantive examination is usually terminated in 4-12 months from the application filing date).
The opposition procedure is stipulated by virtue of Article 1512 of the Russian Civil Code and refers to registered in Russia trademarks. If a trademark, which is confusingly similar to a prior trademark(s), has been registered in Russia through national procedure or in the framework of Madrid Agreement, it is possible to file an opposition to grant of protection to such trademark within 5 years from the publication date of the trademark subject to opposition. The opposition shall be filed with the Chamber for Patent Disputes of the Russian PTO, and an oral hearing is appointed for consideration of the opposition. Usually, the hearing is appointed in about 3-5 months after the filing date. Normally, the final decision of the Chamber is taken within one hearing. The decision taken by the Chamber shall be reviewed by the head of the Russian PTO within 2-3 months thereafter.