The trademark is a graphical sign employed to distinguish a company’s products or services from other companies’ goods or services. Before the trademark registration takes place, a file must be submitted with the Trade Marks Registrar in Cyprus. Once the trademark application has been filed it will be examined by the Register’s personnel. If the trademark is approved it will then be approved for publication in the Official Gazette. Once published, any person considering he or she has grounds may oppose the registration. The time limit for trademark opposition is 2 months but it can be extended by filing a request.
The trademark opposition application may be submitted by the owner of the previously registered trademark the owner of another renowned trademark. The opposition must be done by submitting a written application and proof of payment of the opposition fee. The application will not be taken into consideration without the fee payment. The individual or Cypriot company must bring relevant evidence that the trademark cannot be registered.
The grounds for opposition must be accompanied by a declaration showing the damage brought to the opponent by the registration of the trademark. The opposition can be based on absolute or relative grounds according to the Intellectual Property Law in Cyprus. Descriptive characters will be considered absolute grounds for trademark opposition. Similarities with other trademarks can be considered relative grounds and can only be filed by owner with previous rights.
Once the opposition has been submitted the owner of the trademark registration application will be notified. He or she will receive a copy of the opponent’s claim and will be given a two-month period to answer the opponent’s claim. If he or she does not respond to the opponent’s claim, the trademark registration will be denied. The defense will contain several denials to the opposition without any other evidence or fees.
The applicant and the opponent will usually come to an agreement with respect to the use of the trademark in Cyprus. The agreement will usually refer to the restriction of the classes the trademark will represent or the addition of a distinctive element. If no agreement is reached, both opponent and applicant must submit evidence that supports their claims. Based on the evidence filed by each party, the Patent and Trademark Office in Cyprus will make a decision about the trademark registration. An opposition can also be appealed before the Cypriot Supreme Court.
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