The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has disclosed first and second quarter filing and pendency statistics for 2018. Year to date (YTD) statistics as compared to the same period in 2017 include the following:
U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board filings
- extensions of time to oppose: 9,498 (+2.7% YTD)
- trademark oppositions: 3,211 (+4.3% YTD)
- trademark cancellations: 1,143 (+8.8% YTD)
- trademark appeals: 1,643 (+4% YTD)
Pendency of Proceedings (commencement to completion processing times)
- trial cases (average): 140.6 weeks (-10.6% YTD)
- trial cases (median): 126 weeks (-14.9% YTD )
- ACR trial cases (average): 112 weeks (-6.2% YTD)
- decisions issued: 535 (+8% YTD)
- average pendency: 9 weeks (+15.4% YTD)
- cases awaiting decision: 172 (+17% YTD)
Of note is the increase in trademark cancellation proceedings as well as trademark oppositions. This may be a sign of greater brand enforcement efforts by companies. At the same time, there are mixed performance trends within the TTAB itself. While the pendency of proceedings has decreased, the average pendency of contested motions has increased. One reason may be due to the inability of counsel to fully cooperate in discovery disputes, with an increase in contested motions being an unfortunate result.
TTAB filing and performance data for 2015 and 2016 may be found here.
Practitioner’s Note: The importance of cooperation with opposing counsel in the prosecution or defense of TTAB proceedings should not be overlooked. Where antagonism and lack of communication are the norm, increased client expenses and unnecessary motion practice often follow. This can have a direct impact on the risk and costs associated with trademark opposition proceedings.