Court issues important decision on power of attorney in opposition proceedings

A recent court decision has shown that agents must have a power of attorney in order to file oppositions on behalf of third parties.

Turkish company Aytaç Gida Yatirim Sanayi Ve Ticaret AŞ filed an opposition against a trademark application for AYTAÇ by an Iranian company. The opposition was filed during the 30-day opposition period. At the time of filing the opposition, the opponent requested a respite so that it could file the power of attorney at a later time.

The Trademarks Office dismissed the opposition on a formality basis, arguing that the agent who had filed the opposition on behalf of the Turkish company had no powers to do so at the time of filing and during the opposition period.

The Turkish company appealed, claiming that, although the power of attorney had been filed at a later time, the agent had powers to file the opposition on behalf of the opponent and the opposition had been filed based on instructions received from the opponent.

The court upheld the decision of the Trademarks Office, finding that:

  • the agent acting on behalf of the opponent should have the power to do so during the 30-day opposition period; and
  • the subsequent submission of the power of attorney did not meet the legal requirements.

This judgment changes the Trademarks Office's practice in opposition proceedings - parties interested in filing an opposition against a published trademark application through an agent should submit a dated and properly executed power of attorney to evidence that the agent had the power, during the 30-day opposition period, to act on behalf of the opponent. The original power of attorney - executed by the opponent, and notarised and legalised by the Iranian Consulate - can be filed within 60 days from the opposition period.

Mohammad Badamchi, HAMI Legal Services, Tehran

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