The process of trademark objection is as follows:
Notice of Trademark Opposition
By filing a trademark opposition and paying the fees in Form TM-O within four months of the date of advertisement of the registration application in the trademark journal, anyone may oppose the trademark registration.
There should be a notice that contains the details of the application (trademark registration application), the opposing party, as well as the grounds of opposition. It is the Registrar’s duty to serve a copy of the notice of opposition to the applicant (person who filed the trademark registration application) within three months of receiving the notice.
Counterstatement for Notice of Trademark Opposition
The applicant must file his/her counterstatement to the opposition notice in Form TM-O within two months of receiving the notice of opposition. Counterstatements will be served by the Registrar within two months of receipt.
It is possible that the applicant will not file a counter statement within two months after receiving the opposition notice. This will result in the Registrar considering the trademark registration application abandoned, and the registration will not be processed.
Evidence For and Against Trademark Opposition
As soon as the opposing party receives a copy of the counterstatement filed by the applicant, the opposing party must file evidence supporting their opposition with the Registrar. In addition, the opposing party should provide all copies of the evidence to the applicant.
Upon receiving the opposing party’s evidence copy, the applicant has two months to submit evidence to support the trademark registration application. A document from the applicant must be sent both to the Registrar and to the opposing party.
An opposing party can submit further evidence within one month of receiving copies of the applicant’s evidence. Both the Registrar and the applicant will need to see additional evidence from the opposing party.
Hearing and Decision Concerning Trademark Opposition
The Registrar will notify both parties of the hearing date after receiving evidence from both parties and further evidence from the opposing party. The opposing party cannot appear at the hearing date, so the opposition is dismissed, and the trademark is registered.
Applicants who fail to appear on the hearing date will have their registration application dismissed and abandoned. It is the Registrar’s responsibility to review the written arguments submitted by the parties in the proceeding.
When both parties have been heard and all evidence has been considered, the Registrar will decide whether to proceed with trademark registration or reject it. In order to proceed with trademark registration, the Registrar will consider all evidence and hear both parties. All parties will be notified in writing of the Registrar’s decision at the address they provided.
Conclusion of the Trademark Opposition Process
Upon the Registrar’s decision, the trademark will be registered and the registration certificate will be issued. Registrars reject trademark registration applications when they decide in favor of the opposing party.