Can my competition oppose the registration even if they do not own a trademark?

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Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

The simple answer is yes. Any third party can oppose a trademark on absolute grounds if they believe the mark fails to distinguish the source of goods and services from other goods and services in the market.

The application is open to oppositions only after it passes the official examination. Even though the application has to be assessed by the examiner first, and no defects are found, it doesn't mean any third party cannot challenge this ruling. There might be some additional information that the examiner did not consider during the assessment.

In countries that adopt the first-to-file rule, a third party which doesn't have a pending/registered trademark cannot challenge the application, even if it was using the identical/similar mark before.

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