As you will have seen from previous blog posts, IP laws in Australia are changing from next Monday, 15 April 2013. Although most of the changes are directed towards changes in patent law, there are some important changes being made to trade mark law and practice as well.
One important change relates to the time periods for filing a notice of opposition against a trade mark application. At present, a period of 3 months from the date of advertisement of acceptance of the application is provided to file a notice of opposition. For trade mark applications advertised as accepted after next Monday, a period of 2 months will be provided for filing a notice of intention to oppose. A statement of grounds and particulars must be filed within 1 month of the date of filing the notice of intention to oppose.
These changes to opposition procedures are of interest to parties watching the status of trade mark applications. As the period for commencing oppositions is being reduced, watch services should be conducted on a more frequest basis than in the past.
The applicant must file notice of intention to defend the opposition within 1 month of being provided with a copy of the statement of grounds and particulars. If a notice of intention to defend the opposition is not filed, the trade mark application will lapse. Again, trade mark applicants will need to closely monitor this new deadline if an opposition is commenced against a trade mark application.