Trademark Opposition in Tunisia
Proceedings of a Trademark Opposition in Tunisia
Having a a prior Tunisian trademark registration(s) or a well-known trademark(s), what would you know about proceedings of a Trademark opposition in Tunisia ?
An opposition is an administrative procedure included within the scope of the trademark registration procedures. The opposition procedure provides third parties, in general owners of prior trademark rights, the possibility to object against the registration of a new trademark. This procedure is cheaper than objecting against a trademark before the Court. That is the main reason for the trademark law to adopt an opposition procedure within the scope of the trademark registration procedures.
In Tunisia, a trademark application runs through formal examination stage only. After this formal examination, the trademark application is published in the Trademark gazette. The opposition shall be field within 2 months (60 days) from publication date. Within this period third parties may file their opposition(s).
Grounds of a Trademark opposition in Tunisia
The opposing party shall have prior trademark rights on the opposed trademark. If the opposing party fails to prove prior trademark rights on the opposed trademark, the Trademark office will reject the opposition.
A trademark opposition can be raised on various ground by a holder of a prior Tunisian trademark registration(s) or a well-known trademark(s). The following are some of the grounds for trademark opposition in Tunisia:
- The trademark is similar or identical to an earlier or existing registered trademark.
- The trademark is devoid of distinctive character.
- The trademark is descriptive in nature.
- The trademark is customary in the current language and or in the established practices of a business.
- The trademark is likely to deceive the public or cause confusion.
- The trademark is contrary to the law or prevented by law.
- The trademark contains matters that are likely to hurt religious feelings of any class or section of people.
Procedures of Trademark Opposition in Tunisia
To initiate trademark opposition proceedings, a notice of a trademark opposition shall be filed within two months (60 days) from publication date of the application in the Trademark Gazette. The trademark opposition must be in written in the prescribed manner and filed with applicable official charges. The trademark opposition notice should contain the following information:
- Details of the opposing party party and proofs of his prior trademark rights on the opposed trademark.
- Details of the opposed trademark.
- The grounds of the trademark opposition.
Once the trademark opposition notice filed, the Trademark office shall serve a copy of the trademark opposition notice to the trademark applicant. Within two months (60 days) of receipt of the trademark opposition copy, the trademark applicant must file a counter statement. If the trademark applicant fails to file a counter statement within the prescribed period, the trademark application shall be deemed to have been “abandoned”.
Based on the trademark opposition and the counter-statement filed, the Trademark office will provide a copy of the counter-statement to the opposing party and call for a conciliation hearing between the two parties at the latest within eight months from submitting the counter-statement . The Trademark office then will provide an opinion on the trademark application and trademark opposition based on the presented evidences.
If an amicable settlement cannot be arranged, the opposing party has to bring opposition to the competent Court within two months (60 days) from the conciliation hearing date. The registration process will then be suspended final judgment.
If the opposing party fails to bring opposition to the competent court within two months (60 days) from the conciliation hearing date, the opposed trademark will be then registered on the National Trademarks Register.
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