Trademark Opposition means an objection filed by the third parties against the registration of a trademark within 4 months from the date of the trademark advertisement to be opposed. Any person, natural or legal, can file an opposition.

This can be any person, organisation, partnership firm and trust. The person filing the opposition need not have any viable interest in the matter or a prior registered trademark in the Registry.

Trademarks can be opposed once published in the Trademarks Journal within four months from the date the mark was advertised or re-advertised.

Section 21 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, states that any person can oppose the registration of a mark published in the journal by filing a notice of opposition with the Registry in the prescribed manner and with the requisite fee.

The Act provides that any person can file a notice of opposition trademark against the Trademark, and the opponent isn’t needed to have an application. Registration in India to oppose any trademark within trademark opposition period.

Grounds for Trademark Opposition

Grounds for Trademark Opposition
  • If the mark does not have distinct features or characteristics from a registered trademark.
  • If the Trademark vehemently describes the quality, intended purpose, or product quality, it comes under the grounds of trademark opposition India.
  • The trademarks with certain features similar to an existing brand are considered to have the potential to confuse the public – deceiving them. Such marks can be opposed.
  • Brand names or devices that are prohibited under the Emblem and Names Act, 1950, comes under the prohibited trademarks.
  • Common trademarks that are used in general terms in everyday life. Such marks can also face opposition from a third party.
  • Certain trademarks can hurt the sentiment of a particular community and come under brand names that can face opposition on the grounds of being offensive.

Complications for an Opponent delivering the Notice of Opposition Trademark

Complications for an Opponent delivering the Notice of Opposition Trademark

Complications for an Applicant


Eligibility Criteria for Trademark Opposition:

  • There are two eligibility criteria to be considered when applying for trademark opposition in India. Following organisations can become opponents of trademark registration:
  • Any individual, company, individual, trust, society, LLPs and partnership firms
  • Two persons with the same issue against trademark registration. They can either jointly oppose the Trademark or draft separate opposition notices.
  • Previous users of the brand name
  • The current owner of the Trademark in question

Documents Required for Trademark Opposition

Issue of Notice of Opposition in Form TM-O. It must be submitted to the Registrar of Trademark within 4 months from the date of publication of advertisement in the Trademark Journal in which the application for registration of the Trademark was advertised or re-advertised.

A notice of opposition shall contain :

  • The application number against which the opposition entered
  • An indication of goods or services listed in the trademark application against which opposition is entered
  • The name of the trademark applicant

Trademark Opposition Process

Trademark Opposition Process

1. Notice of Opposition

As per Rule 42 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017, anyone interested in opposing the trademark registration has to issue a Notice of Opposition within 4 months from the date the advertisement was published in the trademark journal. On receipt of the notice, Registrar shall serve the copy to the applicants within 3 months of receipt.

2. Filing of Counter-Statement

As per Rule 44 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017, the trademark applicant is required to send a counter-statement in form TM-O within 2 months from the receipt by the applicant of the copy of the notice of opposition from the Registrar and shall set out what facts, if any, assumed in the notice of opposition, are admitted by the applicant. A copy of the counter statement shall be served by the Registrar to the opponent within 2 months from the date of receipt. If the applicant fails to file the counter statement within the prescribed time, the application will be deemed abandoned.

3. Evidence in support of opposition

As per Rule 45 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017, within two months from service of a copy of the counter-statement, the opponent shall either leave with the Registrar, evidence by way of the affidavit as he may desire to present in support of his opposition or shall intimate to the Registrar and the applicant in writing that he does not desire to present evidence in support of his opposition but intends to rely on the facts stated in the notice of opposition. He shall deliver to the applicant copies of any evidence, including exhibits if any, that he leaves with the Registrar and intimate the Registrar in writing of such. If an opponent takes no action within the time prescribed, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his opposition.

4. Evidence in support of the application

As per Rule 46 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017, the trademark applicant is also required to provide evidence in support of the application to the Registrar within 2 months from receipt of evidence/ intimation filed by the opponent. If the applicant does not desire to present any evidence supporting the application but intends to rely on the facts stated in the counter-statement, he shall intimate the Registrar and the opponent in writing; otherwise, the application shall be deemed to be abandoned.

5. Evidence in reply by an opponent

As per Rule 47 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017, within one month from the receipt by the opponent of the copies of the applicant’s affidavit, the opponent may leave with the Registrar evidence by affidavit in reply and shall deliver to the applicant copies of the same and shall intimate the Registrar in writing of such delivery.

6. Hearing of Opposition

After evidence from both parties, Registrar shall give notice to the parties for the first hearing date. The Trademark Hearing date shall be for at least one month from the date of the first notice. The Registrar will give equal opportunity of being heard to both parties. Any parties may request an adjournment of the hearing for a reasonable cause in form TM-M at least 3 days before the hearing date along with the prescribed fee.

Hearing of Opposition


The parties can request a maximum of two adjournments of the hearing, and the duration of each adjournment shall not be more than 30 days.

7. Adjournment of Hearing

By making an application in form TM-M, any party can apply for an adjournment of the hearing along with the payment of prescribed fees. And if the Registrar finds the application satisfactory, he shall postpone the hearing to the next available date.

8. Order by the Trademark Registrar on Notice of Opposition Trademark

The Registrar shall consider the written arguments submitted by the parties to the proceeding. After hearing both the parties, the decision of the Registrar will be communicated to the parties in writing. Suppose the applicant or opponent is not present at the time mentioned in the notice or at the adjourned hearing. In that case, the application or opposition may be treated as abandoned, and Registrar will proceed accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

When opposition to the Trademark has been submitted to the Trademark Registrar, The Registrar will send a copy of the opposing notice of Trademark to the trademark owner. Within two months after receipt of the notice opposing trademarks, the trademark applicant has to make a counter statement.

30 days

Between 4 and 6 weeks after approval for publication, your trademark application will be released within 30 days for the opposition. At this time, any person seeking to oppose the trademark registration is.

The Trademark may confuse people as well as cause confusion. The mark is not following the law or is prohibited by the law. The Trademark is not permitted by the Emblem and Names Act of 1950. The Trademark includes matters that could hurt the religious sentiments of any group or segment of the population.

Within 30 days of the publication date, any person who believes that their business could be hurt by us registering your Trademark is entitled to make an opposition (or "opposition").

The trademark opposition process can be settled in one of two ways to resolve the issue: Retracting any trademark applications. A solid argument to prevail in the trademark opposition. Resolving the Trademark infringement.

Trademark Opposition & Opposition Procedure in India

Trademark Opposition Period: The Act stipulates that anyone can file a notice of objection to the mark within four months following the date that the Trademark is advertised or re-advertised within the Trade Marks Journal.