Any person who believes that the registration of a trademark may conflict with their rights can file a trademark opposition. This includes individuals, partnerships, companies, and other legal entities. Trademark opposition is a process that allows a party to challenge the registration of a trademark that they believe conflicts with their existing rights. The grounds for opposition can include similarity with an existing trademark, likelihood of confusion, lack of distinctiveness, and violation of the Trademarks Act, among others.
The process of filing a trademark opposition involves filing an opposition notice with the Trademark Registry within a specified period of time after the trademark application is recorded in the Trademark Journal. The opposition notice must state the grounds for opposition and provide evidence to support the opposition. After the opposition notice is filed, the Trademark Registry will serve a copy of the notice to the trademark applicant, who can then file a counter-statement to the opposition. The parties may also have the opportunity to present their case before the Trademark Registrar during a hearing. It is advisable to seek the guidance of a legal professional before filing a trademark opposition to ensure that the opposition is based on valid grounds and is filed within the prescribed time limit.
TRADEMARK OPPOSITION PROCESS
Trademark opposition is a legal procedure that allows a party to challenge the registration of a trademark that they believe conflicts with their existing rights. Here's a step-by-step guide to the trademark opposition process in India:
Publication of the trademark application:
After a trademark application is filed, it is checked by the Trademark Registrar to ensure that it fulfills all the legal requirements for registration. If the application is found to be in order, it is published in the Trademark Journal. The trademark journal is made available to the public on a weekly basis.
Filing of opposition notice:
Within a prescribed period after the publication of the trademark application, anyone who believes that the trademark registration may conflict with their own rights can file an opposition notice with the Trademark Registry. The opposition notice must state the grounds for opposition and provide evidence to support the opposition. The opposition notice must be filed in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee.
After the opposition notice is filed, the Trademark Registry serves a copy of the notice to the trademark applicant, who can then file a counter-statement to the opposition. The counter-statement must be filed within the prescribed period of time and must address the grounds for opposition raised by the opponent.
Evidence and Documentation:
Once the counter-statement is filed, the parties have the opportunity to provide evidence and documentation to support their respective positions. This includes affidavits, witness statements, and other relevant documents.
If the Trademark Registrar deems it necessary, he or she may schedule a hearing to allow the parties to present their case in person. The hearing may be conducted in person or through video conferencing.
After considering all the proofs and arguments presented by the parties, the Trademark Registrar will issue a decision. If the opposition to the trademark is successful, the trademark application will be refused. If the opposition is not successful, the trademark will proceed to registration.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRADEMARK OPPOSITION
If you want to file a trademark opposition in India, the following documents are typically required:
Notice of Opposition:
The opposition notice is the main document that is required to initiate the opposition process. It should be filed in the prescribed form and should clearly state the grounds for the opposition.
Power of Attorney:
A power of attorney is a document that authorizes a legal professional to act on your behalf during the opposition process. If a legal professional represents you, you will need to provide a signed power of attorney authorizing them to act on your behalf.
Evidence and Supporting Documents:
To support your opposition, you will need to provide evidence and supporting documents that demonstrate the validity of your claims. This may include documents such as affidavits, witness statements, and other relevant documents.
You will need to provide proof of your identity, like a copy of your Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport, or driving license.
The prescribed fee must be paid along with the opposition notice.
It is important to note that the trademark opposition process is a complex legal process, and it is advisable to seek the guidance of a legal professional before filing an opposition notice or responding to an opposition notice. A legal professional can make you understand the legal requirements, assist you in preparing your case, and represent you during the hearing process.
Lawgical India's team of legal experts has extensive experience in trademark registration and trademark opposition. They will provide guidance on the legal requirements for filing a trademark opposition, assist in preparing and filing the opposition notice, and represent clients during the hearing process.