Registering a Trademark: Opposition Stage
After a trademark application has been searched and examined by an Examiner, but before the application is "allowed" to proceed to registration, the application enters a 2 month opposition stage.
Published for Opposition
Once an Examiner is satisfied that there are no objections to the application, the Examiner will approve the application for publication. The application is published in the CIPO Trademarks Journal every Wednesday (you can view current & past Trademark Journals here). The purpose of publishing/advertising the application is to allow any other interested party to object to the application.
Other Registered Trademark Owners
It is often another registered trademark owner that opposes a pending trademark application during the opposition stage. Registered trademark owners typically monitor the Trademarks Journal for any published applications that contain a trademark that is the same or similar to theirs for the same or similar goods & services. A comprehensive trademark search prior to filing a trademark application can help to determine the likelihood of another registered trademark owner opposing your trademark. However, it is not possible to predict with absolute certainty whether another party will oppose your application as some businesses are more aggressive than others in policing and protecting their trademark rights.
Owners of Unregistered Trademark Rights
Not all businesses have registered their trademark rights with CIPO and therefore would not be located in a search of the Trademark Register. These businesses may have unregistered rights in a trademark that they have acquired over time by virtue of using the trademark to promote and identify their goods and/or services. Unregistered trademark rights are typically limited to the geographical area that the business provides their goods and/or services. It sometimes difficult to predict if there is another party that is using the same or similar trademark for similar goods/services that could object to your application. A search of Canadian corporate & business names, as well as a broad internet search for use of the trademark in Canada can help to assess the likelihood of another party objecting to your application based on their unregistered trademark rights.
If no oppositions are filed with CIPO within 2 months from the date of the published application, the application will proceed to allowance. At the allowance stage, it is just a matter of paying a registration fee (and if a 'proposed use" application, filing a Declaration of Use) for the application to proceed to registration.
Contact Sander Law to discuss registering your trademarks!
The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.