Trademark is one of the Intellectual properties obtained by a business to protect its name, logo and identity and differential itself from its close competitors selling the same products or services. A Trademark registration is done for the mark, logo, slogan, words, symbol, etc. used by the business as its identity.
The application for Trademark registration is filed with the Trademark Registrar along with the requisite documents. Once the application is filed, the Trademark application is evaluated and published by the Registrar in the Trademark Journal. At this point, the application is kept open for 4 months and public oppositions are invited.
What Is A Trademark Opposition?
An opposition to a Trademark registration application is filed by any person stating that the registration should not be granted to the mark as it violates any existing Trademark or a Trademark for which an application has been filed. Some of the basic grounds of Trademark Opposition In India are as follows:
- The Trademark is similar or deceptively similar to the opponent’s Trademark.
- The Trademark is generic and descriptive in nature.
- The Trademark resembles a well-known Trademark.
- The Trademark application is filed maliciously or in bad faith.
- The applicant is not the actual owner of such Trademark.
- The Trademark is likely to deceive the public or cause confusion.
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Process Of Trademark Opposition In India
If a person believes that any of the above-mentioned elements are present in the Trademark application, he/she can raise a Trademark opposition with the Trademark Registrar. The opposition to Trademark is filed in form of a notice of Trademark opposition can be filed by any person within 4 months of the date on which the application was published in the Trademark Journal.
The trademark opposition must be along the prescribed fees and contain the following particulars:
- Details of the application such as applicant’s name, application number.
- Class of goods or services under which the Trademark application is filed/
- Details of the opponent.
Upon receiving the Trademark opposition notice, the Registrar serves a copy of Trademark opposition notice to the applicant. The Trademark applicant must file a counter statement within 2 months of the date on which the notice is received.
If the applicant fails to submit a counter-statement, the Trademark registration application is considered to be abandoned by the Registrar. If the counter-statement is filed, the opponent is required to file evidence that supports his/her claims.
The applicant is then required to file evidence as a reply to the opponent’s evidence within 2 months. The Registrar then calls for a hearing based on the opposition, counter-statement, and evidence filed. On the day of hearing, the Registrar either grants the Trademark certificate or favours the Trademark opposition and rejects the application.
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