Patent & Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board By Roberta S. Bren
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("Board" or "TTAB") currently consists of the Chief Judge and 18 Board members, referred to as Administrative Trademark Judges and 14 Interlocutory Attorneys, and support staff. The Board decides ex parte appeals from Examining Attorneys' final refusals to register marks and inter partes cases relating to opposition and cancellation proceedings. In addition, the Board decides concurrent use proceedings, however, this constitutes a small percentage of the cases before the Board. This outline deals exclusively with opposition proceedings.
In the past few years, more than 4,000 notices of opposition were filed annually. More than 95% of all oppositions are disposed of or settled prior to final decision. An opposition is an administrative proceeding that deals only with the right to register a mark, not the right to use a mark.
NOTE: Amendments to the TTAB Rules were published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 147, Pages 42242-42264. A copy of the amended Rules, without the comments, are attached to this outline.