Friday 22 August 2008

UK relative grounds opposition changes: did they change your life too?

Way back on 1 October last year, the UK IPO changed its practice regarding trade mark oppositions on relative grounds. Instead of examiners using their own judgment and initiative and deciding that an applicant's mark was confusingly similar to another mark already registered, a notice-based procedure was implemented (see here for details). This change was the subject of a very enjoyable meeting of the SOLO IP group at the rather cosy offices of London law firm Collyer Bristow. Anyway, to cope with an expected tidal wave of inter partes oppositions, some extra Appointed Persons were appointed so that appeals against the extra number of oppositions could be expeditiously dealt with.

Is there any evidence, real or anecdotal, that the number of inter partes oppositions based on relative grounds since 1 October has (i) gone up, (ii) gone down or (iii) gone nowhere? Do let me know, either by posting a comment below or by emailing me here.


  1. The IPO itself has reported that over the first six months of 2008 the opposition rate was 7.25%, compared to an opposition rate of 2.85% before the changes and a rejection rate by the IPO on relative grounds of 30%.

  2. We have not seen an increase in oppositions at all, so I guess in my experience the number of oppositions has gone nowhere.