Puttin’ Opposition in the Russian Trademark System

Up until now, there wasn’t any opposition proceeding in Russia whereas any person could submit a notice to examiners after publication up until granting. Afterwards, it is only possible to revert the decision through an invalidation proceeding. The invalidation could be requested in the first five years counting from the publication of the registration of the trademark.

However, since June, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office created an open forum to discuss the introduction of an opposition system to the trademark registration. The introduction of an opposition has the fundamental goal of shortening the timeframe from filing to registration, from 12-18 months to a period ranging from 6 to 12 months.

The procedure that is being proposed is very similar to the EUIPO trademark registration. Once the trademark is filed, the PTO will have a 3 months window to conduct a formal examination, making sure that the filed trademark fills all the necessary formal criteria to be registered, after which it will be published and any interested party will then have 3 months, from the publication, to file an opposition.

Here the procedure has two outcomes, either there is no opposition and the examiner proceeds to analyze the application and decide for registration or not, or an opposition is filed and the PTO suspends the procedure for a period of 6 months so the intervening parties can reach an agreement. Should they reach an agreement, the procedure carries as normal, otherwise the examiner will advance to a final decision, taking the opposition(s) into consideration.

According to the Russia’s PTO, there has been a very positive response to the public discussion over this matter, with a majority of Intellectual Property professionals participating in the debate. The biggest share is in favor of creating the opposition system, although there is still a large quantity of professionals who oppose it.

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