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Trademark Oppositions

Posted Sunday, February 3, 2008 by Jim Ruttler

After a trademark application is filed, it is examined by a trademark examining attorney at the United States Trademark Office. The examining attorney confirms that the application complies with formal requirements and makes a determination as to whether there is likely to be consumer confusion between the applied for trademark and any other registered trademark. The trademark process is not complete even if the examining attorney approves the application. Instead, the application is published for a thirty day public opposition period, during which time any member of the public may oppose the application. If an application is opposed, a proceeding commences with the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board which is analagous to a typical court proceeding with some notable differences.

Failing to respond to an opposition will result in a default judgment against the applicant; that is, the application will be cancelled. Further, an opposition can only be filed during the thirty day period. Failure to timely oppose a mark will result in registration of the mark and registered marks are much more difficult to cancel.

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