Monday 31 March 2008

Reduced UK Trademark Opposition Period

Like me, you may have passed by the notification of the consultation on the Trademark Rules Consolidation as something for the big boys and our professional bodies. However it is more important than that. The UK-IPO want to change the opposition period. This is something I suggested when they proposed a fast-track procedure. With oppositon work on the increase (but still less than 10% of applications), there is a need for SOLO practitioners to be able to provide a cost-effective advice service to their clients.

There are two ideas. Just cut to two months or make it 6 weeks extensible to three. The latter is closer to my idea but what do other people think? A representative of a very non-solo firm told me she was against because their watch service did not always get them the watch notices on time. I was a bit surprised about that for UK marks. I'd change my watch service.


  1. To me, a shortened opposition period makes sense. It seems pointless having a fast track application process which is then held up by what is (in the modern fast moving technological world) a fairly drawn out period of advertisement. If the opposition period is not shortened, a fast track application will not get to grant substantially more quickly than a straightforward application on the normal track. I agree that a system of an extensible 6 week period is likely to be the best compromise. Surely any worthwhile watching service should be able to cope and the new system would certainly suit fast reacting solo-practitioners, like Filemot.

    James Love

  2. I also agree with Barbara and James though, as a barrister, I get
    involved in the opposition process only when there is a hearing before
    the Regisrar. Now that applications are published on the internet it
    must be very much easier than it was in 1994 to spot a potentially
    troubling application. If an application that could have been
    opposed proceeds to grant it is always open to the objector to apply
    for as declaration of invalidity udner s.47 (2) Trade Marks Act.

    Enjoy the weekend all

    Jane Lambert