Third-party Opposition to Trademark Registration in Armenia
Publication and Opposition Period: Once a trademark application is accepted, it is published in the Official Journal for a two-month opposition period. During this time, interested parties can oppose the registration of the trademark. The publication is available online on the Armenian Intellectual Property Agency's website.
Grounds for Opposition: The most common grounds for opposing a trademark registration in Armenia are prior rights. This includes situations where the opponent owns an earlier mark that they consider identical or similar to the applicant's mark. Opposition can also be based on previously filed or registered trademarks, an earlier well-known trademark, geographical indications, or another earlier sign used in the course of business.
Opposition Process: If an opponent decides to challenge a mark, they initiate the process by filing a notice of opposition. This filing typically incurs an official fee of approximately $25. The opposition proceedings involve one or two exchanges of briefs between the parties before the Armenian Intellectual Property Agency issues the opposition decision.
Challenging Registered Trademarks: Even after a trademark has been registered, legal action can be taken to challenge it. This can be done through procedures known as invalidation and cancellation. Anyone can file a cancellation action based on non-use if the registered trademark has not been effectively used within five years after registration. Additionally, the registration of a trademark may be invalidated upon request due to nullity based on absolute grounds (e.g., if the trademark is descriptive and non-distinctive). In Armenia, a cancellation or invalidation action is heard by a court of general jurisdiction in proceedings on the merits. The judgment can be subject to appeal with the Court of Appeals.
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LL.M. Georgetown University, licensed to practice in both Armenia (license no. 903) and New York (license no. 5148945)
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