Trademark Opposition

Any individual or legal entity may oppose the registration of a trademark by submitting a notice to the Registrar and the trademark applicant within a specified timeframe after the application has been advertised. The opposition must be filed in the manner prescribed by law and within the statutory opposition period.

If no opposition is filed during the specified time, the Registrar will proceed with registering the trademark application. However, if opposition is raised, the registration process will be put on hold until the opposition is resolved through the appropriate legal channels. This process ensures that stakeholders have the opportunity to challenge potentially conflicting trademarks and uphold their existing rights.

Grounds for Opposing Trademark Registration

Any person can file a written notice with the Registrar to oppose the registration of a trademark within two months from the date of its advertisement in the Gazette. The typical reasons for opposing a trademark application include:

  • Ownership Dispute: The claim that the applicant is not the lawful proprietor of the trademark being opposed.
  • Deceptive or Confusing: The use of the opposed trademark could mislead or cause confusion among the public, or it would be illegal for other reasons.
  • Conflict with Existing or Pending Marks: The opposed trademark conflicts with a pending application or a registered trademark, or its use would lead to legal claims, such as passing off.
  • Scandalous or Offensive Content: The trademark contains offensive or scandalous material that should not be registered.
  • Failure to Meet Trademark Act Criteria: The trademark does not meet the requirements set out in the Trademark Act, such as graphical representation or distinctiveness.

Opposition serves as a safeguard in the trademark registration process, allowing interested parties to challenge applications that may violate their rights or create confusion in the marketplace. If an opposition is successful, the registration process is halted until the dispute is resolved.

Learn more about Trademark! Click on the respective logo to learn more!


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