The underlying purpose of the procedure of trademark opposition is: to provide the public an opportunity to dispute with the legality of the trademark registration. To put it simply, anyone, who has doubt about an approved trademark, is entitled to oppose to that particular trademark after trademark registration, in order to ensure the legitimacy and legality of registration of officially approved trademarks. In Taiwan, the opposition period for trademark registration is three months since the date of announcement. If anyone has any doubt as to approved trademarks, for example, the fact that the trademark in announcement is similar to your registered trademark; that your unregistered in-use trademark was registered by others; that the trademark is misleading; that the trademark is against the custom or that there is conflict of interest between you and the trademark registrant in the announcement; or competition etc, he or she may file opposition within the period.
How to prepare for an opposition:
When you decide to file an opposition, you must first understand how much information you possess, the more detailed the better. For example, for opposition against trademark squatting, we have to raise the actual usage proof, such as photo of the actual product in sale, actual store, advertisement and news reports, that is prior to the application date of the registrant in order to support our propositions. Meanwhile, a grounds for opposition should be drafted in order to explain the causes to the committee. Likewise, the more detailed the document is, the stronger the opposition would be.
Supplement to reason of opposition:
After filing the opposition, the committee would grant access of the information provided by us to the opposed party. If the opposed party makes responses to the grounds of opposition, we may submit response to the arguments made by the opposed party. Meanwhile, if there is more evidence or information, it may be submitted together with the response for the examination of the committee.
Examination of opposition:
After the receipt of the responses from both the opposer and the opposed party by the committee, the examination process, which lasts for 4-5 months, will be commenced. The committee will examine the case according to the information provided by both parties, and will then notify the parties about the result of the opposition process.
In conclusion, opposition is an important part of trademark protection. If the approved trademark infringes your right, you may file opposition. However, the above only explains the procedure of opposition examination. The complaint and defence skills are key to the prospect of the opposition. Therefore, before deciding to file an opposition, not only should you do comprehensive research, but you should also choose a competent trademark agency. You may ask the agency to analyse the information you have prepared and ask the agency to draft the reason of opposition. Not only does it make the grounds of opposition look professional, but it also eliminates potential weaknesses, which may be attacked by the opposed party. Thus, the opposition will more likely satisfy the objective of right protection.