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Trademark opposition

An opposition is an administrative procedure within the trademark registration procedure. The procedure is meant to provide third parties, in general owners of older trademark rights, the possibility to object against the registration of a new trademark. This procedure is cheaper than having to object against a trademark before court. That is the main reason for the legislator to have adopted an opposition procedure within the trademark registration procedure.


Having filed a trademark application, how do you know about a filed opposition?

A trademark application runs through various examination stages. After the first examinations, the trademark is published. After a publication the opposition term starts to run. The term is dependent of the country. Most of the time the opposition term takes a few months. Within this period third parties may file opposition. The offical authorities will notify the trademark owner or his attorney whether an opposition has been filed. Most of the time the party, which wants to file opposition will first of all inform the trademark owner or his attorney before the opposition term starts to run. Then is it possible to negotiate an amicable settlement. If it is not possible to settle before the end of the opposition term then opposition is filed by the counterpart. Even after filing of the opposition in most registration procedures it is possible to request some additional time to negotiate. We call that the 'cooling- off'period.

If an amicable settlement cannot be arranged we need to submit arguments to defend your trademark application. Ofcourse the counterpart will receive time to submit his arguments in favour of his submission. In some countries there is one round of arguments, in others there are more rounds. After the argumentation rounds the Trademark Office will decide on the case.

More than 80% of the oppositions is settled amicably in the end.


I would like to file opposition against a trademark: how do I know about the opposition deadline?

We offer a trademark watching service. This service tells you the exact deadlines for filing an opposition against a trademark of a third party.

For more information see also trademark watch service.