Parties to trademark oppositions have tools at their disposal that have the potential to save money on trademark opposition attorneys by bringing about a swift resolution of the dispute. This is the idea behind the Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR) program of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

ACR allows for the parties to receive a prompt determination of their respective claims and defenses, without the delay and uncertainty of a standard trademark opposition case.  ACR is the result of a realization that parties often spent considerable sums of money on the preparation and filing of summary judgment motions. Historically, most summary judgment motions are denied, resulting in costly legal fees that do very little to bring about a final determination of the case.

In an effort to encourage parties to explore settlement options, the Trademark Board instituted rules requiring the parties to discuss claims, defenses, and settlement possibilities at the beginning of the case.  Under ACR, the parties may request that the Interlocutory Attorney act as a settlement mediator.  In order to take advantage of ACR, the parties should make a genuine effort to determine whether a settlement is achievable without the need for costly litigation.  This requires good-faith dealing by both parties and their attorneys.

If you are a party to a trademark opposition, be sure to ask your attorney about whether your case is a good candidate for ACR resolution.