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Back at the beginning of May we looked at a consultation that was running at the UKIPO which sought the views of users and potential users of the UK national trade mark registration system about the introduction of a lower cost “fast track” opposition based on earlier registered or pending marks (see original post here). The consultation closed on 17 May 2013 and the Government’s response was released recently. In this post we take a quick look at the consultation again and the Government’s response.
In a recent post we looked at a consultation from the UKIPO which was proposing superfast patent processing. That’s not the only consultation that is running at the UKIPO and there is a further one entitled “Fast Track Opposition Procedure. Trade Mark Tribunal”. This consultation is running until 17 May 2013 and seeks the views of users and potential users of the UK national registration system about the introduction of a lower cost “fast track” opposition based on earlier registered or pending marks.
As noted in the consultation a fast track opposition process may differ from the existing procedures in a number of ways, namely:
- Lower opposition fee
- Grounds limited to s.5(1)/5(2)
- Limit to the number of earlier marks that can be relied upon
- If over 5 years old, proof of use to be filed with the notice of opposition using a pro-forma statement with exhibits
- Leave required for either party to file any further evidence
- Decisions normally from the papers
- Introduction of refundable appeal fee large enough to discourage frivolous appeals
The full reasoning behind the above proposals can be found in the consultation document but a few issues with the proposals, as highlighted by our trade mark team, are noted below: