In the United Kingdom, a third party could oppose trade mark applications if they believe that your trade mark will infringe on their trade mark rights, primarily due to the possible similarities between your trade mark and that of the third party. Once your trade mark application is successfully examined, the application is published in the journal for two months. During this period, third parties can file a Notice of Opposition. This two month period is extendable to three months from the date of publication if the third party files a Notice of Threatened Opposition. It must be noted that only the filer of the Notice of Threatened Opposition can benefit from the extension of the opposition period.
Once a Notice of Threatened Opposition is received, it should be taken seriously because the filer will only file this if they are seriously interested in opposing a trade mark application. However, filing the Notice of Threatened Opposition does not make it mandatory for the filer to actually file a Notice of Opposition.
The first thing to do once a Notice of Threatened Opposition is received is to contact the filer to see if there is a way the matter can be settled amicably. It may just be a simple amendment that needs to be made to your application which would eliminate the need to go through costly opposition proceedings.
The other thing to do, which is not advisable, is to see if the filer will actually file a Notice of Opposition. If the filer does not file a Notice of Opposition, the trade mark application will proceed to registration and a trade mark certificate will be issued.