UK IPO introduces new fast track for trademark enforcement

As of today, trademark owners have the option to use a new ‘fast-track’ opposition procedure to challenge conflicting marks filed in the UK. The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) hopes that the change will make oppositions simpler, cheaper and quicker, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The fast-track procedure is designed for simple cases. Trademark owners and their advisers should certainly consider using it in cases involving identical or highly similar goods/services (where there is little room for debate on the potential overlap of the goods/services involved that would benefit from evidence being filed on the point), and where the marks relied on are less than five years old.

More complicated cases involving unregistered rights, trademarks for which reputation is claimed or a family of marks or cases where the opponent wishes to have more flexibility as regards filing evidence and opting for an oral hearing, will need to be dealt with using the standard opposition procedure…

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