Consultation on a new Canadian Trade-marks Opposition Board Practice Notice

The Canadian Trade-marks Opposition Board (TMOB) is consulting on a new proposed Practice Notice regarding proposed amendments to Canadian trade-mark opposition procedures.

The deadline to provide comments to the TMOB is October 24, 2008. Information on where to send comments is provided here.

The proposed Practice Notice, in addition to introducing changes to the TMOB’s policies on extensions of time to file pleadings and evidence, also introduce new practices regarding the following.

  • The introduction of a nine (9) month “cooling off” period after the Statement of Opposition (the pleading initiating the opposition) is filed, for the parties to discuss and possibly arrive at a negotiated settlement. The “cooling off” period can be only obtained with the opponent’s consent, and can be extended for another nine (9) months.
  • Both parties to an opposition can request to have their hearing scheduled on short notice, provided both parties sign a statement that the hearing will meet such criteria (e.g. have a maximum length of 2.5 hours).

It remains to be seen whether the proposed Practice Notice will be adopted in whole or in part, and if so, when the proposed Practice Notice will take effect.

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