1. Any natural or legal person and any group or body representing manufacturers, producers, suppliers of services, traders or consumers may submit to the Office written observations, explaining on which grounds, under Articles 5 and 7, the trade mark should not be registered ex officio.
Persons and groups or bodies as referred to in the first subparagraph shall not be parties to the proceedings before the Office.
2. Third party observations shall be submitted before the end of the opposition period or, where an opposition against the trade mark has been filed, before the final decision on the opposition is taken.
3. The submission referred to in paragraph 1 shall be without prejudice to the right of the Office to re-open the examination of absolute grounds on its own initiative at any time before registration, where appropriate.
4. The observations referred to in paragraph 1 shall be communicated to the applicant who may comment on them.