he Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is an administrative tribunal within the USPTO vested with the power to decide which marks can be registered.
What types of cases are before the TTAB
The TTAB is vested with the power to decide which marks can register. The Board is not authorized to determine right to use a mark, or infringement or unfair competition.
The Board hears the following types of cases:
Ex Parte Appeals - appeals from an examining attorney’s final refusal to register a mark in an application.
Opposition proceedings - a proceeding where a third-party plaintiff seeks to block issuance of a registration of a mark on the Principal Register.
Cancellation proceedings - a proceeding in which the plaintiff seeks to cancel an existing registration of a trademark on the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register
Interference proceedings - a proceeding in which the Board determines which, if any, of the owners of conflicting applications is entitled to registration.
Concurrent Use Proceeding - a proceeding in which the Board determines whether one or more applicants is entitled to a concurrent registration on the Principal Register, that is, a registration with conditions and limitations, fixed by the Board, as to the mode or place of use of the applicant’s mark or the goods and/or services on or in connection with which the mark is used (usually, a concurrent registration is restricted as to the territory which it covers). (Copied from Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure)
What is the budget for the different types of proceedings?
According to AIPLA Report of the Economic Survey 2021, Trademark Opposition/Cancellation median costs were just over $100,000.
TTAB Case Overview
What are the stages of TTAB proceedings?
An inter partes proceeding before the Board is similar to a civil action in a federal district court. There are pleadings (at least in an opposition or cancellation proceeding); a wide range of possible motions; conferencing; disclosures; discovery; trial; briefs; and, if requested, an oral hearing, followed by a decision on the case.