What is the TTAB? Can I file an Opposition or Cancel a mark?

The TTAB is not some form of disease, but a part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The TTAB is more commonly known as the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board. The TTAB is an agency that utilizes a quasi-judicial process to render decisions about whether or not an application for trademark protections is entitled to registration on the Federal Register. The TTAB is responsible for determining the rights of a trademark application vis a vis other trademark owners or third parties.

The TTAB has its own set of rules and applies the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedures (TMEP) in rendering its decisions. However, the TTAB also utilizes and applies the federal rules of civil procedure and evidence. Thus, understanding the TTAB rules, trademark prosecution and federal litigation procedures is vital to properly representing clients with the TTAB.

An opposition is a proceeding in which a third party or trademark owner can protect its common law or federal mark from being harmed by the registration of an other’s mark on the Federal Register. A petition to cancel is a process by which a third party or a competitor can move to cancel a trademark registration for fraud, genericness or other defects.

However, there are strict time lines and procedures to TTAB proceedings. The failure to act in a timely manner can have a profound impact on the scope of trademark protection you can obtain for your business or trade name.

Please feel free to contacts us, if you have any concerns or questions about the following: 1) incorporating trademark opposition or cancellation proceedings into your business practices; 2) protecting or enlarging the scope of protection for your service or trademarks; 3) preventing a competitor from encroaching on your mark, business or service names, licensing streams, product or service channels; or 4) responding to oppositions or cancellations filed against you.

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