Trademark Opposition

What is Trademark Opposition?

Trademark opposition is a legal process wherein a third party, typically an interested party such as a competitor or an entity with a similar mark, formally challenges the registration of a trademark after it has been published in the trademark journal but before it is officially registered. This process allows parties to voice concerns that the registration of the trademark may harm their interests.

Why Does Trademark Opposition Happen?
  • Trademark opposition occurs for various reasons, including:
1. Likelihood of Confusion:
  • The proposed trademark is similar to an existing trademark, potentially causing confusion among consumers regarding the source of the goods or services.
2. Lack of Distinctiveness:
  • The trademark is not distinctive enough and may be considered generic or descriptive, making it unsuitable for registration.
3. Prior Use:
  • The opposing party may have prior use of a similar or identical trademark and believes that the new registration would infringe on their rights.
4. Bad Faith:
  • The trademark application may have been filed in bad faith, such as intending to mislead consumers or unfairly compete with another brand.
5. Contravention of Law:
  • The trademark may contravene provisions of the law, such as including prohibited or offensive terms.
Section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999
  • Section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, provides any person the right to oppose the registration of a trademark by filing a notice of opposition. This section outlines the procedure for filing an opposition, the timeframe for doing so, and the requirements for submitting the necessary documents and evidence.
Why Should You Hire a Professional for Trademark Opposition?
  • Hiring a professional, such as a trademark attorney, for handling trademark opposition is highly beneficial due to the following reasons:
1. Expertise in Trademark Law:
Legal Knowledge:
  • Professionals have a thorough understanding of trademark laws, regulations, and the procedural aspects of opposition proceedings.
  • They have experience dealing with opposition cases and can leverage this expertise to build a strong case.
2. Effective Argumentation:
Persuasive Presentation:
  • Attorneys can craft persuasive arguments, whether opposing a trademark or defending against an opposition, addressing both legal and factual aspects.
Use of Precedents:
  • They can cite relevant case law and precedents to support their arguments.
3. Thorough Preparation:
Detailed Analysis:
  • Professionals can analyze the grounds for opposition and prepare comprehensive strategies to address each issue.
Evidence Gathering:
  • They know what types of evidence are most compelling and can help gather and present this evidence effectively.
4. Procedural Compliance:
Adherence to Deadlines:
  • Attorneys ensure that all procedural requirements, such as filing deadlines and documentation, are met to avoid procedural pitfalls.
Understanding Processes:
  • They are familiar with the trademark office’s processes and can navigate the system efficiently.
5. Mitigating Risks:
Avoiding Common Mistakes:
  • Professionals can help avoid common errors, such as insufficient evidence or improper filing, that could weaken the case.
Risk Management:
  • They can identify and mitigate potential risks, enhancing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
6. Professional Representation:
  • Having a professional advocate on your behalf ensures that your interests are effectively represented throughout the opposition process.
Handling Counterarguments:
  • Attorneys are adept at handling counterarguments from the opposing party, providing immediate and well-thought-out responses.
7. Higher Success Rates:
Increased Chances of Favorable Outcome:
  • The involvement of a professional typically increases the chances of a successful opposition or defense due to their expertise and strategic approach.


  • Trademark opposition is a critical legal process that allows third parties to challenge the registration of a trademark. It happens for various reasons, including the likelihood of confusion, lack of distinctiveness, prior use, bad faith, and contravention of law. Section 21 of the Trademarks Act, 1999, outlines the procedure for filing an opposition.
  • Engaging a professional for trademark opposition is essential due to their expertise in trademark law, ability to present effective arguments, thorough preparation, procedural knowledge, risk mitigation skills, and professional representation. These factors collectively improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome in the opposition proceedings.

We provide diverse services in the Trademark field including:

  • Trademark Searches in more than 100 countries
  • Proprietor/ Owner/ Applicant searches
  • Drafting specification of goods and services
  • Trademark Application
  • International Registration under Madrid Agreement
  • Convention Trademark Filing in other countries
  • International Registrations (IR) designating India
  • Provisional Refusals response and handling
  • Trademark prosecution
  • Trademark registration
  • Trademark watch in more than 100 countries
  • Response to Office Action
  • Trademark hearings
  • Renewal services
  • Portfolio Management
  • Assignment Recordals
  • Licensing and Recordals
  • Due Diligence
  • Trademark Oppositions
  • Trademark Cancellations
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