New Canadian trade-mark opposition rules on March 31, 2009

Canada’s Trade-marks Opposition Board has announced a new Practice Notice governing trade-mark opposition procedure, effective March 31, 2009. The new Practice Notice will replace the current Practice Notice, which came into effect October 1, 2007.

The new Practice Notice will introduce changes in how oppositions are conducted. Highlights of those changes include:

  • The introduction of a 9 month “cooling off” period designed to facilitate settlement. Both applicants and opponents are entitled to one cooling off period in an opposition – which means that there are potentially 18 months for settlement negotiations and the implementation of any settlement reached.
  • Changes in hearing scheduling. E.g. hearing dates generally cannot be postphoned, even if the parties are in settlement negotiations.

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