Do third parties have the right to take part in or comment on the registration process?

Intellectual Property

Bulgaria Small Flag Bulgaria

In the following registration proceedings third parties are entitled to intervene:

  • in the patent registration proceedings third parties are entitled to object against the patentability of the invention applied for registration;
  • in the trademark registration proceedings the holder of earlier trademark/of earlier trademark application is entitled to file an opposition if the trademarks and the goods/services are identical or identical/similar that creates likelihood of confusion.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Yes, during the publication stage.

Trade marks and Geographical Indication:
Yes, during the opposition stage.

Industrial Design:

Belgium Small Flag Belgium

Unlike the European registration procedure before the EPO, Belgian patent law provides no option for third parties to file observations during the registration procedure. Publication of the Belgian patent application only serves consultation purposes. In both registration procedures there is no possibility for oppositions or protests prior to the granting of the patent. However, when a European patent is granted by the EPO, any person may file an opposition against the patent within 9 months of the publication of the mention that the patent has been granted to annul the patent grant.

The EU trademark registration procedure allows third parties to file written observations after the publication of the application. This possibility is not prescribed by the BCIP for Benelux trademark applications. Both the Benelux and EU trademark registration procedure do, however, provide the possibility for third parties to submit a pre-grant opposition.

During the registration procedure for designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional speciality guarantees, any natural or legal person with a legitimate interest has the possibility to file a statement of objections against the registration.

For all other registered intellectual property rights (SPCs, designs and plant variety rights) there is no possibility for third parties to comment or intervene in the registration procedure.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Third parties do not have the right to take part in or comment on the registration process of designs and patents. Third parties can take part in or comment on the registration process of plant varieties and trade marks.

France Small Flag France

In France, third parties can intervene in the registration process of patents and trademarks exclusively (see question 28).

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

R: Yes. In what regards to almost all the IP rights, a deadline is offered to third parties in order to submit their oppositions within the registration process.

India Small Flag India

For various forms of intellectual property, there are statutory provisions for opposing the registration of the intellectual property.

Trade marks and patents once published are open to opposition procedures by third parties.

  • Patents: For patents, there are two kinds of oppositions. Pre-grant opposition can be filed by any person after the publication but before the grant of the application, and post-grant opposition, which can be filed within twelve months from the date of publication of the grant of the opposition.
  • Trademarks: A trademark application is open to opposition by third parties for four months after the mark is published in the Trade Marks Journal.
  • Geographical indication: A Geographical indication is open to opposition proceedings by third parties for three months after the same is published in the Geographical Indications Journal.
  • Designs: There are no explicit provisions for a third party to comment on the registration of a design. Once the design is registered and published, any person interested may file a cancellation petition against it.

Greece Small Flag Greece

As noted above in Q.5, third parties may oppose the registration of a trade mark, both on absolute and on relative grounds.

No opposition or similar procedure is provided for the other registered IP rights in section A.

Purely theoretically, the Greek Code of Procedure of Administrative Authorities allows any party establishing legitimate interest to intervene in ongoing administrative processes in defense of its rights. In practice, however, this rarely applies to IP rights grant procedures.

Third parties may challenge registered IP rights post-grant, under requirements which vary depending on the type of right (see below Section G).

Japan Small Flag Japan

During the application process for patents, utility model rights or trademarks, any person can anonymously provide information to oppose an application before the JPO.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico


IP right

Third parties right to take part in or comment?



Utility models


Industrial designs


Integrated circuits



IP right

Third parties right to take part in or comment?



Trade names


Appellations of Origin


Copyright and other rights

IP right

Third parties right to take part in or comment?

Reservation of rights


Plant varieties


China Small Flag China

Third parties can challenge a patent application by submitting observations and prior art documents to SIPO after a patent application is published but not yet granted.

Third parties may oppose trademark applications published in the gazette after preliminary examination. The period of opposition is 9 months from publication.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Third party observations ("TPOs") can be filed in relation to a trade mark or patent application, enabling third parties to raise comments or objections to the grant of the right. The examiner will consider any information provided in a TPO during the examination, but the third party will have no further involvement after the filing of the TPO.

In the case of trade marks, there is also a pre-grant opposition procedure, which is discussed further in questions 28 and 29.

In the case of European patents, any person may file a written opposition to the grant of the patent at the EPO, on one of the prescribed grounds (lack of patentability, insufficiency, added matter) within nine months of the patent being granted. The parties' submissions in the inter partes opposition procedure are considered and decided upon by the EPO's Opposition Division, with appeal lying to a Board of Appeal.

South Africa Small Flag South Africa

Patents and Designs
There are no pre-grant opposition proceedings provided for in terms of South African patent or design law.

Plant Breeders’ Rights

Trade Marks
Interested third parties may oppose the application once it is advertised for opposition purposes in the Patent Journal.

UAE Small Flag UAE


Challenge to registration process?


Yes within 30 days of the publication, through a formal opposition process before the Trade Marks Department; open to "an interested party" only.

Patents (UAE national filing)
Utility Certificates

Yes, within 60 days of the publication, through a formal opposition process before the Grievance Committee of the Patent Dept.; open to "an interested party" only.

Patent (GCC patent filing)

Yes, within 3 months of the publication, through a formal opposition process before the Grievance Committee of the GCC Patent office; open to "a concerned party" only.


There are no provisions for challenging the recordal application process. A recorded copyright work can be amended or cancelled in the Ministry's records with a final judgement from a Court.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

Third parties may present observations in writing concerning the patentability of the invention subject of the application. Such observations shall be communicated to the applicant who may comment on them.

As to utility models and industrial designs, any person may present written adverse information concerning the registrability of the utility model or industrial design, including matters pertaining to novelty and industrial applicability while citing relevant prior art, within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of the application.

As regards trademarks, any person who believes that he would be damaged by the registration of a mark may, upon payment of the required fee and within thirty (30) days after the first publication, file an opposition to the application.

There is no similar proceeding allowing third parties to take part in or comment on a deposit of copyright.

United States Small Flag United States

(a) Patents
Third parties cannot protest or submit pre-issuance oppositions to the grant of a patent without express written consent of the applicant. Third parties can submit prior art references for consideration during a patent application’s pendency.

(b) Trademarks
Once an application for registration is approved by the USPTO the mark is published and any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has thirty (30) days from the publication date to file either an opposition or request an extension of time to file an opposition.

(c) Copyright
Third parties cannot participate in the registration process.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Any third party can oppose a patent within nine months following publication of the grant of the patent, Section 59 German Patent Act.

The German utility model does not recognize an opposition in that sense, but third parties can apply for cancellation under Section 15 Utility Model Act. This cancellation action is similar to the opposition against a patent, as it is also filed at the German Trademarks and Patents Office as the first instance, Section 16, 17 Utility Model Act. There is no deadline for filing.

The proceedings are generally the same for semiconductor topography rights, Section 8 Semiconductor Protection Act in connection with Section 17 Utility Model Act.

The owner of an earlier trade mark can oppose a trade mark within three months after publication of the registration, Section 42 Trademark Act.

For registered design rights the German Law does not provide for an opposition period and a design can only be challenged via action for invalidity before the German Trademarks and Patents Office (Section 34a Design Act) or via counter-claim in infringement proceedings before the court.

Any third party can oppose the registration of a plant variety under Section 25 Act on the Protection of Plant Varieties. The deadline depends on the grounds of the opposition.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

No, third parties have no right to take part in or comment on the registration process. Once a registration has been granted, third parties can then assert their rights (see below section E).

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Yes, third parties may file an objection against the registration of the relevant intellectual property right on certain matters upon the announcement of the applications for trademark rights, geographical indications, design rights and patent rights. Also, third parties may indicate their opinions as to the fact that the rights related to the trademarks and patents should not be registered and comment on the content of the research report issued for any utility model and the Authority may reject the application partially or wholly based on those opinions and comments.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

(a) Patent
No, however anyone can object to the registered patent within nine months from the date when the patent was granted. After nine months, third parties may only object to a granted patent through bringing proceedings before the Patent and Market Court.

(b) Trademark Rights
No. However, anyone can object to the Trade Mark within three months after registration. After three months, a third party can apply for an administrative revocation at the PRO.

(c) Trade Name Rights

(d) Design Protection
No. However, third parties can object to the Trade Mark within three months after registration.

(e) Plant Variety Rights
When an application has been submitted at the SBAC it is publicly announced for a period of two months during which third parties are entitled to object to the registration of the variety in question.

Spain Small Flag Spain

There is a post-grant opposition system in place. Third interested parties will have a six-month period to oppose the patent its registration. Third-party observations regarding the patentability of the invention might be filed during the granting process (after the application is published).

Any person who considers himself harmed may object to the trademark registration by filing an opposition before the SPTO.

Public Authorities and consumer protection associations can file written observations on possible absolute grounds for refusal; however, such public bodies and associations shall not acquire the status of parties to proceedings.

Once the designs has been registered, any person may oppose the grant of registration of a design, claiming that the registered design fails to meet any of the protection requirements established in the Spanish Design law.

It may also be claimed as a ground for opposition by those who are the legitimate owners of the earlier signs or rights:

A) That the owner of the design registration is not entitled to obtain it according to a final judicial decision.

B) That the registered design is incompatible with a design protected in Spain by virtue of a request or registration with a prior date of presentation or priority, but which has only been made accessible to the public after the date of presentation or priority of the later design.

C) That the registered design incorporates a trademark or other distinctive sign previously protected in Spain whose owner is entitled, by virtue of such protection, to prohibit the use of the sign in the registered design.

D) That the registered design implies an unauthorized use of a work protected in Spain by copyright.

E) That the registered design implies an improper use of any of the elements listed in Article 6 ter of the Paris Convention or of distinctive emblems and emblems other than those referred to in Article 6 ter which are of public interest such as the emblem, flag and other emblems of Spain, its autonomous communities, Its municipalities, provinces or other local entities, unless it has the proper authorization.

Third parties do not have the right to intervene in the registration process.

Israel Small Flag Israel

Any person, other than the applicant, has the right to submit to the examiner publications that are directly related to the invention. Such documents may be submitted during the prosecution but ending two months after the commencement of examination.

Once the patent application is allowed and published in the Patents Gazette, there are 3 months for a third party to oppose it. If no opposition is filed within three months, the patent is granted.

Observations may be filed by any third party regarding the eligibility of the proposed mark during the examination of the mark by the ILPTO. The ILPTO notifies the applicant of such observations, allowing the applicant to respond thereto. Unless the applicant responds to the observations and/or requests to attend a hearing before the Registrar within three months, the ILPTO will issue a notification that the registration process has not been completed. Unless the applicant requests an extension or responds to said notification within three months, the application will be abandoned.

Once a mark is published there is a three-month period within which any third party who has a stand pursuant to the Israeli Trademark Ordinate may file opposition.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Patents: After publication of the application and up to the end of the examination, interested parties may submit documents and data to assist the examination. That is, this procedure is called as subsidises.

Industrial Designs: It is not possible for third-parties to take part in the registration procedure of industrial design applications. However, after it is granted, third-parties may file a petition requesting that the BPTO conducts a substantive examination, analysing the originality and the novelty requirements of such protected design.

Integrated Circuit Topography: third-parties may not take part in the registration procedure.

Trademarks: Third-parties may file an opposition against the granting of the trademark application within 60 days of its publication.

Geographical Indications: After the BPTO examines the formalities of the Geographical Indication application, the application will be published and third-parties may comment on the application within 60 days.

Cultivars: After the application is published, there shall begin a period of 90 days for the submission of any appeals, the applicant being informed thereof.

Third-parties may also file administrative nullity procedures against the BPTO’s decision that granted IP protection for any IP asset, including industrial designs and integrated topographies.

Updated: November 1, 2017