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Trademark oppositions

The legislation systems offer various procedures for acting against both pending and registered trademarks, grant of protection to which would violate legal requirements. Pending applications can be contested via oppositions or third-party observations, depending on the jurisdiction, in order to prevent them from maturing into trademark registrations. At the same time, registered trademarks usually can be invalidated through oppositions filed against them on one of several bases stipulated by law from similarity with prior trademarks to unfair registrations.


While publishing trademark applications for oppositions by third parties is a common feature of IP legislation adopted by many countries, some jurisdiction do not allot specific time for opposing pending applications. However, even then any interested party conducting proper monitoring can usually file third-party observations against pending applications before their examination is completed. The observations may be based on similarity to prior trademarks, copyright, company name or industrial design, misleading nature of the filed mark, lack of its distinctive capacity and other grounds.


After registration, an opposition can be filed to contest already registered marks on the same grounds as pending applications. In addition, trademarks registered in the name of agents (distributors, local branches etc.) and unfairly registered trademarks can be attacked. The deadlines vary depending on the jurisdiction and the basis for opposition.


PATENTICA handles third party observations and oppositions in any form, provides a deep analysis and risk assessment before acting against trademarks potentially dangerous for client’s business, and offers alternatives, where applicable, such as forwarding limitation requests, CDLs and reaching co-existence agreements.

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