All UK and Community trademarks are published for opposition purposes. This allows third parties to attempt to prevent the registration of the trademark, normally on grounds that they own earlier conflicting trademark rights.
The trademark opposition system is particularly important because neither the UKIPO nor OHIM reject trademarks on the basis of earlier rights – instead it is up to the owners of such rights to file formal opposition proceedings. In the UK there is a two-month period from publication of a trademark within which any third party can;
i) apply to extend the opposition period by a month by filing a notice of ‘threatened opposition’; or
ii) file a formal opposition against the trademark.
For Community trademarks there is just a three month period for any party to file an opposition.
Interestingly around 5% of UK trademarks are opposed whereas around 20% of Community trademarks face opposition proceedings – this is because owing to the increased geographic coverage Community trademarks are more likely to conflict with earlier trademark rights (registered or unregistered).
How we can help?
London IP’s trademark team has extensive experience of trademark oppositions. Headed by Francesca Nwaegbe, former senior trademark attorney at Shell and British Telecom, our trademark team works hard to provide the right outcome for our clients.
So if you have filed a trademark application and now face a trademark opposition or if you need to oppose registration of a third party trademark then London IP can help.
Even if you have missed the opposition period you can still file an invalidation action to remove a mark from the register.
Contentious trademark proceedings can be stressful for any business owner, and although we can’t stop you worrying we can guide you through the opposition process and try to make it as painless as possible.
Contact us for a free consultation on any trademark opposition matter.