Trademark Contest Lawyer Charlottesville, VA
Understanding Trademark Oppositions
The trademark registration process is lengthy. At some point in the process you might find yourself in a common issue with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) known as trademark opposition, also known as trademark contest.
As a trademark contest lawyer in Charlottesville, VA, we have found these issues are much more common nowadays than they once were. If you are serious about keeping your trademark, you should not delay in having Dale Jensen, PLC, on your side.
What is a Trademark Opposition?
A trademark opposition is a legal proceeding filed by a trademark owner if, or when, they believe there is a potential conflict or likelihood of confusion between their mark and yours.
The Trademark Application Review
About 4 months after the initial application filed with the USPTO, an Examining Attorney, also known as an Examiner, will be assigned to your case. This professional will have a number of duties, including reviewing the application, and making a decision, based on a number of factors, about whether the mark should be permitted to register.
If the Examiner finds your mark meets all of the criteria, and there is no conflict with other registered, or pending, marks, your trademark will be published in the Trademark Official Gazette. This is a weekly publication by the USPTO and can be accessed on their official website.
30 Day Publishing Period
As a trademark contest lawyer Charlottesville, VA has to offer will explain to you, the mark is published in the Trademark Official Gazette for 30 days. At any time an interested party can decide to contest, or oppose, the trademark. This could include filing a proceeding against the mark or filing a request for extension of time to oppose.
A trademark opposition is a form of litigation that is administered by and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO. As soon as this process is initiated, the Examiner will not be involved anymore. The process runs its course unless a settlement can be reached. You should not delay in having an ip lawyer Charlottesville, VA respects to help you.
Notice of a Trademark Contest
The opposition process typically begins when a registered trademark owner (or pending registered mark) files a Notice of Opposition against your own application. They can alleged various claims, but will often state that your mark would create confusion in the marketplace amongst customers; ultimately affecting the oppositions’ own mark and brand.
After the Opposition Has Been Served
As soon as the Notice of Opposition has been served, you will have 40 days to respond. Your trademark contest lawyer in Charlottesville, VA will likely do this on your behalf. If you fail to respond within that time, a default judgement against you may be issued. In other words, the Opposer will win the case. Your trademark application is abandoned and you’ll have to begin the process all over again. The opposition process will involve a discovery period, briefs, hearings, and a trial. Unlike other legal cases, these trials are usually virtual and “less formal” than the trials you might be familiar with on the television.
The entire process can take several months or years. It is also potentially very costly which means large companies often use these opposition opportunities to stop smaller applicants who might be unable to afford the litigation process.
If you have received a Notice of Opposition, or are interested in filing one, please hire a trademark contest lawyer in Charlottesville, VA. For more information, call Dale Jensen, PLC.