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How do I oppose a trademark application?

A US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) examining attorney will publish a mark after the application examination period. The Tax Authority releases this information in the USPTO’s online Original Gazette. The public has thirty days to oppose a trademark application to stop registration. If you have a personal or business interest and can show the proposed trademark will affect you or infringes on your existing mark or property rights, you can stop the registration process. The opposition process further guarantees that commercial marks in use are authentic, distinct, and limit consumer confusion in buying brand names. 

In addition to claims about the likelihood of confusion, you can oppose a trademark application for many reasons like:

  • The mark is generic and therefore not distinct
  • The mark is descriptive in either physical or geographic terms rather than unique
  • The mark raises social concerns
  • The mark is misleading
  • The mark potential dilutes another mark

 If you oppose the registration of a trademark, file a notice of opposition with the USPTO as the opposer. In your document, explain why you believe the USPTO should not register this mark. The trademark applicant has another thirty days to respond to your opposition claim. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board(TTAB) sets a calendar date for the proceedings. You do not have to hire a trademark attorney to file a Notice of Opposition, but we recommend you retain professional counsel because trademark opposition hearings are legal proceedings.

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