Rais­ing the bar — trade mark oppo­si­tion peri­ods change

In Brief

Changes to Aus­trali­a’s intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty régime will come into full effect on 15 April 2013. These changes affect many of the process­es and pro­ce­dures for patent, design and trade mark protection.

For trade mark own­ers, this will mean that the peri­od with­in which a third par­ty can oppose an accept­ed appli­ca­tion from being reg­is­tered will be reduced from 3 months to 2 months. The change also applies to oppo­si­tion to removal of a trade mark for non-use. This change will apply to any trade marks that are adver­tised as accept­ed on or after 15 April 2013, or any appli­ca­tions for removal of a trade mark adver­tised on or after 15 April 2013

This short­er time­frame means that trade mark own­ers need to review any mar­ket mon­i­tor­ing that they cur­rent­ly under­take, to ensure that their process­es allow for suf­fi­cient time to meet this sig­nif­i­cant­ly short­er dead­line. This change makes it even more impor­tant to act quick­ly (and to obtain appro­pri­ate spe­cial­ist advice) if there is any con­cern with a com­pet­ing appli­ca­tion that has been accept­ed, or if an appli­ca­tion for removal of a reg­is­tered trade mark is made.

If you would like fur­ther infor­ma­tion about this, or any of the oth­er changes, or would like to dis­cuss imple­ment­ing a trade mark mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram, please con­tact Swaab Attorneys.

Co-authored by M Hall.