Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
This page is an overview of proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board including a Trademark Opposition and Trademark Cancellation. If a Petition to Cancel or Notice of Opposition has been filed against you, please see our TTAB Answer page.
We are a preeminent law firm in handling USPTO TTAB filings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Our abundant experience with TTAB proceedings has allowed us to develop and perfect strategies that win TTAB cases quickly. As a result, our win percentage in the TTAB is extraordinarily high. To view the over 250 Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cases that we have handled, please click here.
What is the TTAB?
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is an administrative body of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that is responsible for resolving trademark disputes. These include oppositions and cancellations against trademark applications and trademark registrations. The TTAB also processes interference and concurrent use cases‚ in addition to appeals of trademark application denials issued by USPTO Examiners. TTAB disputes arise when one business files a trademark application or obtains a trademark registration that is too similar to the trademark of another business.
What is a Notice of Opposition?
A Notice of Opposition is filed after a trademark application is filed but before it registers. If a trademark application is approved by the examining attorney‚ it is then published for Opposition. This opens a 30 day window for third parties to oppose the application. Many companies have a trademark watch set up and so they are notified when a similar application is filed and published for opposition. Because a registration may grant presumptive rights‚ it is best to oppose the application at the earliest opportunity before it registers.
What is a Petition to Cancel?
A Petition to Cancel is filed after a trademark registers. It is best to file a petition for cancellation at the earliest opportunity and definitely within five years from the date when the trademark registered because after 5 years the registration can become incontestable and the registrant may have presumptive rights. A trademark or trade name can be contested even after the aforementioned five-year period has passed under the following circumstances:
- The registered trademark has been rendered generic (e.g.‚ super glue);
- The registered trademark becomes the functional name;
- The registered trademark has been abandoned;
- The registration was obtained fraudulently;
- The registration is scandalous‚ deceptive‚ or immoral;
- The registration is disparaging of or falsely connected with persons‚ living or dead‚ institutions‚ beliefs‚ or national symbols.
Filing a Trademark Opposition or Cancellation in the TTAB
If you feel that a pending trademark application or an existing registration will harm or is harming your business‚ you may file a Notice of Opposition or Petition to Cancel with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The costs to file are relatively low. Although any person can file a Notice of Opposition or Petition to Cancel‚ you must have standing and grounds for the filing such as:
- The trademark is too similar to your trademark and is likely to cause confusing among consumers
- Non-use or abandonment
- The trademark is generic
- The trademark was procured in a fraudulent manner
- The trademark is geographically descriptive or misdescriptive
While cases filed in the TTAB operate similar to a lawsuit filed in court‚ they generally offer a more streamlined procedure with lower overall costs. When the issue is a likelihood of confusion‚ the party filing the Notice of Opposition or Petition to Cancel bears the burden of proof that the trademarks are too similar in sight‚ sound‚ and/or meaning.
Winning a Trademark Dispute
As TTAB litigation lawyers‚ we are thoroughly familiar with the various statutes‚ regulations‚ and case precedents applied by the Board in resolving trademark opposition cases‚ including the following:
- Federal Trademark Case Law
- The Trademark Rules of Practice
- Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (“TMEP”)
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
- TTAB Citations
- Federal Rules of Evidence
Contact a Dependable TTAB Litigation Attorney
If you need dependable legal advice concerning your TTAB case‚ or if you need to file an Opposition or Cancellation‚ please feel free to contact us.
The results mentioned above were dependent on the facts of the case, and results of such cases differ if based on different facts, thus the above statements do not constitute guarantees‚ warranties‚ or predictions regarding the outcome of your legal matter.