FFW offers discount fixed fee for trademark opposition work

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) is offering a discount fixed-fee arrangement for its trademark opposition service, giving clients the chance to nip IP disputes in the bud for £200.

The firm will write a letter to the applicant of a conflicting trademark for £200. For £950 FFW will fight the offending trademark application in opposition proceedings at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO). That price rises to £1,950 where the disputed trademarks are similar rather than identical, making the legal process more work-intensive.

The fixed-fee packages have been called PreFix and OppoFix and have been introduced as a result of changes at the UK IPO.

Before the October changes, the UK IPO would have provisionally refused any application that conflicted with a trademark already registered.

Now, though, the UK IPO will only inform the applicant of a possible conflict, but continue with the registration.

The onus is on trademark owners to instigate opposition proceedings, rather than on applicants having to prove that their registration attempts do not conflict with existing marks.