The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board offers a helpful frequently asked questions section that provides basic information regarding the trademark opposition and trademark cancellation process. Various Trademark Trial and Appeal Board subjects are summarized, including:
- What is a Trademark Opposition? A trademark opposition is when one party contests the application for registration of a trademark by another party. Quite often, the bssis for the opposition is a likelihood of confusion with the Oppoer’s previously registered trademark. A trademark opposition proceeding is commenced by filing a Notice of Opposition.
- What is a Trademark Cancellation? A trademark cancellation is when one party seeks to cancel the trademark registation of another party. Grounds for a trademark cancellation may include fraud, abandonment (by lack of use for three consectutive years and an intention not to resume use), and other grounds, such as genericness. A trademark cancellation proceeding is commenced by filing a Petition for Cancellation.
- What is the Procedure for a Trademark Opposition? After a Notice of Opposition has been filed, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will serve a copy of the Notice on the Applicant, together with a schedule of the discovery and trial dates. The Applicant will have forty days from the maling date of the Trademark Board’s notice of commencement of the case in which to Answer or otherwise plead.
- What is the Procedure for a Trademark Cancellation? After a Petition for Cancellation has been filed, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will serve a copy of the Petition on the trademark registrant, together with the discovery and trial schedule. The trademark owner will then have forty days from the date of the Trademark Board’s notice of commencement of the trademark cancellation proceeding to either answer, or otherwise plead.
Parties who have trademark opposition or trademark cancellation matters before the Board should note that the Trademark Board rules of practice are extensive and must be followed without exception so as to protect the parties’ procedural and substantive trademark rights. These rules may be found in the Trademark Board Manual of Procedure.