In the absence of a priority examination carried out by the Office, it is the responsibility of the proprietors of prior trademarks to take measures against the registration of a subsequent application for a trade mark deemed to be confusing with their own, by filing an administrative opposition.

The deadline for the submission of an opposition is set at three months from the date of publication of the trademark to be challenged. The opposition proceedings have a duration of about 12-24 months and provides for a first “cooling off” phase in which the parties have the opportunity to find a conciliatory agreement and a second dispute phase in which the parties exchange observations to corroborate their arguments.

The proceedings conclude with the final ruling issued by the opposition board, which determines whether or not there is a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks. That ruling may be appealed against before the Appeal Board.