All UK and European 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 the EUIPO 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 either;
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 European 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 European trademarks face opposition proceedings – this is because owing to the increased geographic coverage European 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.
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.