UK-IPO Launches Fast Track Trade Mark Oppositions

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) has today launched its fast track trade mark opposition procedure.

This procedure is being offered in addition to the standard opposition procedure and is intended to offer a faster, cheaper and simpler way for businesses to protect their trade marks. 

The main features of the fast track opposition procedure are:

  • The opposition fee is £100 instead of £200 for the standard opposition procedure.
  • The mark applied for must be identical or similar to an earlier registered or pending trade mark application.
  • A maximum of 3 earlier marks can be relied upon.
  • If the earlier mark is greater than 5 years old, evidence of use must be filed at the same time as the opposition.
  • Usually no other evidence will be filed.
  • Decisions will normally be made from the papers i.e. without a hearing.

Decisions on fast track oppositions can still be appealed to either the Appointed Person (a senior independent intellectual property lawyer, appointed by the Lord Chancellor to hear appeals from the UK-IPO) or the High Court.

It is hoped that the fast track procedure will allow more businesses, particularly SMEs, to protect their trade mark rights.

Further information can be found here.