[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no " equal_height_columns="no " menu_anchor= " " hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " background_color= " " background_image= " " background_position="center center " background_repeat="no-repeat " fade="no " background_parallax="none " enable_mobile="no " parallax_speed="0.3″ video_mp4= " " " video_webm= " " video_ogv= " " video_url= " " video_aspect_ratio= "16:9″ video_loop="yes " video_mute="yes " video_preview_image= " " border_size= " " border_color= " " border_style="solid " margin_top= " " margin_bottom= " " padding_top= " " padding_right= " " padding_bottom= " " padding_left= " "][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1″ layout="1_1″ spacing= " " center_content="no " hover_type="none " link= " " min_height= " " hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " background_color= " " background_image= " " background_position= "left top " background_repeat= "no-repeat " border_size="0″ border_color= " " border_style="solid " border_position="all " padding_top= " " padding_right= " " padding_bottom= " " padding_left= " " dimension_margin= " " animation_type= " " animation_direction="left " animation_speed="0.3″ animation_offset= " " last="no"][fusion_imageframe image_id="1760″ style_type="none" stylecolor= " " hover_type="none" bordersize= " " bordercolor= " " borderradius= " " align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id= " " lightbox_image= " " alt= " " link= " " linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " animation_type= " " animation_direction="left " animation_speed="0.3″ animation_offset=" "]https://depot-de-marque.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GM_opposition.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="none" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " sep_color= " " top_margin="50″ bottom_margin= " " border_size= " " icon= " " icon_circle= " " icon_circle_color= " " width= " " alignment="center" /][fusion_code]W2xhc3R1cGRhdGVd[/fusion_code][fusion_separator style_type="none " hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " sep_color= " " top_margin="30″ bottom_margin= " " border_size= " " icon= " " icon_circle= " " icon_circle_color= " " width= " " alignment="center" /][fusion_text]

Opposition under French and Community law

The opposition procedure allows a third party who owns an earlier right to prevent the registration of a later trademark that would infringe his rights.

The opposition procedure in France

This was introduced in the Intellectual Property Code in articles L. 712-3 to L. 712-5 by a 1991 reform. Before the opposition procedure was introduced, holders of a prior right were obliged to go through a trial, and therefore had to bear the costs and the length of it. It is now sufficient to file an opposition before the INPI (National Institute of Intellectual Property) for a very small fee (€325 INPI fees to date) to obtain the rejection of an application for registration.

One can only oppose trademarks that have been filed before a trademark office (INPI, EUIPO...). Trademarks that are used without having been registered can only be the subject of legal action (for infringement, unfair competition).

Who can form opposition?

Only the owners of an earlier trademark registered at the INPI are entitled to file an opposition before the INPI. However, since 2014, the procedure has been extended to several bodies: local authorities to protect their name, image or reputation, bodies for the defence and management of a geographical indication and finally the director of the National Institute of Origin and Quality.

Owners of a trademark that has not yet been registered may file an opposition, but the INPI will only give its decision after registration.

What is the time limit for opposition?

The opposition period shall be two months from the date of publication in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property. Once this time limit has expired, an action for invalidation shall remain possible for the holders of an earlier right, this time before the High Court of Justice.

What is the opposition procedure?

To file an opposition, the owner of an earlier trademark must do so online, in writing, on the INPI website. Several pieces of information must be included in the opposition request:

  1. The identity of the opponent as well as evidence of the existence of an earlier right (copy of the earlier trademark)
  2. The references of the later mark against which the opponent is filing an opposition
  3. The list of goods and services covered by the opposition request
  4. The pleas in law relied on, that is to say, the arguments raised by the opponent to show that the marks at issue are identical or similar (comparison of the signs and comparison of the goods/services)

The opposition fee in France is 325 euros.

If the opposition is deemed admissible by the INPI, the contested mark will be refused registration in whole or in part, but this will not entail any financial consequences for the parties. Indeed, the INPI does not have the power to order the loser to pay costs or damages, as this is a prerogative of the judges only.

Either party, if dissatisfied with the INPI decision, may appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal. Please note that no new information can be added to the file. The judge will rule on the same file as the INPI.

The opposition procedure at European level

The principle is the same as in the case of an opposition under French law. Introduced by Article 41 of the Community Trade Mark Regulation, the opposition is filed exclusively with EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office, formerly OHIM), the competent body with regard to European brands.

Who can form opposition?

Unlike the French procedure, the European opposition is open to a larger number of right holders. Thus, the following may file an opposition:

  • owners of an earlier national (in one of the 28 countries of the Union) or European or international trademark designating any of the countries of the Union
  • the holders of a sign used in the life of business (domain name, company name, trade name...)
  • owners of a well-known unregistered trademark (subject to demonstrating notoriety)

What is the time limit for opposition?

In Europe, the opposition period is three months from publication in the European Trade Marks Bulletin. Once this period has expired, owners of an earlier trademark can still file an invalidity action before the EUIPO.

What is the opposition procedure?

The opposition procedure is similar to the French one in that it must also be formulated in writing and contain the same information. However, the cost of the opposition and the consequences differ from the procedure at the INPI. At the European level, the opposition fee amounts to 320 euros. However, if the opponent wins the case, the losing party is often ordered to pay the opponent the opposition costs (fee + fixed compensation of €300).

If one of the parties wishes to challenge the EUIPO decision, it may bring the case before the Board of Appeal of EUIPO. The case may go as far as the Court of Justice of the European Union if necessary.

[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type= "none " hide_on_mobile= "small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility " class= " " id= " " sep_color= " " top_margin= "50″ bottom_margin= " " border_size= " " " icon= " " icon_circle= " " icon_circle_color= " " width= " " " alignment= "center" /] [fusion_button link= "/brand guide " title= " " target= "_self " alignment= "center" modal= " " hide_on_mobile= "small-visibility,medium-visibility,broad-visibility " class= " " id= " " " color= "default" button_gradient_top_color= " " button_gradient_bottom_color= " " button_gradient_top_color_hover= " " " button_gradient_bottom_color_hover= " " accent_hover_color= " " accent_hover_color= " " accent_hover_color= " " type= " " " bevel_color= " " border_width= " " size= " " " stretch= "default " shape= " " " icon= " " icon_position= "left " icon_divider= "no " animation_type= " " animation_direction= "left " animation_speed= "0.3″ animation_offset= " "]Back to the guide menu [/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]