IPO Launch Trade Mark Fast Track Opposition Procedure

The Intellectual Property Office has today launched a new fast track opposition procedure where trade mark owners can oppose the registration of new trade marks if the mark appears to be the same as, or similar to their own existing mark.

The aim of the fast track is to benefit businesses by improving access to opposition proceedings making it faster, cheaper and easier to protect a trade mark.  Once a trade mark application is accepted by the IPO, it is advertised on its online journal and a two month period commences during which a third party may raise opposition to the registration of the trade mark or apply to have the time period extended to three months.  The same time limits for raising opposition remain unchanged under the fast track procedure although the fee for filing a notice of opposition is reduced from £200 to £100.

Owners of trade marks should be warned that the procedure is only available to those with identical or confusingly similar marks and opposition can only be brought on grounds of identity or likelihood of confusion.  The IPO is at liberty to convert an opposition under the fast track procedure to a standard opposition if it considers it inappropriate for this procedure.

For advice on raising opposition to a trade mark application or registering your brand as a trade mark please contact the Forbes Solicitors business law team or call 01254 222365.

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