Well let’s start by explaining what a Notice of Threatened Opposition actually is… essentially it’s a form (called a TM7A if you’re interested) that potential opponents of a trade mark application can file if they’re thinking about filing a substantive opposition. As the name suggests, it’s a threat of an opposition as opposed to an actual opposition but it does have two useful outcomes for a potential opponent.
Firstly a Notice of Threatened Opposition, once filed, automatically extends the trade mark opposition period in the UK from 2 months to 3 months, thereby buying the opponent a bit more time to prepare their opposition grounds and/or discuss possible co-existence terms with the applicant. Secondly it acts as a valid warning to the TM applicant that an opposition is likely to follow (although the opponent isn’t actually bound to file one if they change their mind). This is important because if the opponent wants to claim its costs, assuming it succeeds in the opposition, it will need to show the Tribunal that it warned the applicant that an opposition was coming.
So, what to do, well if you receive a threatened opposition there are normally three options:
So there we are, of course, the real answer to the above question is: speak to Briffa. We have a team of expert trade mark lawyers on hand to assist with every aspect of your brand protection so just email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free consultation meeting.
Written by Will Miles, Partner
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