European Union Trade Mark Opposition Procedure
21 July 2017
The European Union trade mark (“EUTM”) opposition procedure is a process that enables third parties to prevent EUTM applications from achieving registration in certain circumstances.
The opposition is commenced by filing a Notice of Opposition at European Union Intellectual Property Office/EUIPO (“Office”).
Who can bring an opposition?
Any natural or legal person may become an Opponent by filing a Notice of Opposition against a EUTM application. Unlike the UK, opposition can only be based on the Opponent’s “Earlier Rights”, namely:
- its earlier trade mark application or registration
- common law rights protectable by passing off
- other earlier intellectual property rights such as copyright
Earlier Rights can prevent registration of a subsequent third party EUTM application which conflicts with those Earlier Rights. A conflict may occur where the mark applied for as a EUTM is identical or similar to the Earlier Rights and where the EUTM covers identical and/or similar goods or services to those protected by the Earlier Rights.
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