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Like most areas of law, Intellectual Property can appear daunting and complex. There are a great many practice areas, subjects and procedures. The SH&P “A-Z” Intellectual Property glossary is a free and easy to use glossary of legal terms commonly used and associated with IP. We hope that it will help you better understand this topic. All of the entries include contact details for SH&P expert advisers. Alternatively, you can request a free, no obligation, IP Consultation and Review here if you require more information or have a particular issue you would like us to help you with.
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An opponent is the name given to a party who registers their objection to another party’s application for grant of a patent or registration of a trade mark.
In trade mark disputes the grounds of an opposition may differ depending on the jurisdiction but where an opposition is based on earlier rights, the Opponent is usually the owner of those earlier rights. If the earlier right is over a certain age (usually 5 years) then proof of use of the earlier right would typically need to be shown in the proceedings, according to local law. The Opponent can do this by way of trade mark registration certificates if relying on earlier registered rights or by proof of substantial use if relying on unregistered rights.
Where an opposition is based on grounds other than earlier rights, the Opponent may be any interested party and prove its case accordingly.
The owner of the challenged application in an opposition remains the “Applicant” whereas the party commencing cancellation action against a trade mark registration is the “Applicant for Revocation/Invalidation” and the owner of the challenged mark remains the “Proprietor”.