Trademark Cancellation Proceedings

Our trademark lawyers file and defend trademark cancellation proceedings before the TTAB. A trademark cancellation proceedings is a proceeding wherein a party seeks to remove an existing registration of a mark from the trademark register. Generally, a party that believes it is being damaged by a registered trademark may file a petition to cancel the registration.

In the United States, a cancellation action is filed with the trademark office. If you think or believe you are being damaged by a registered trademark, then we advise you to file a Petition for Cancellation with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The TTAB is the administrative tribunal that hears and decides cancellation proceedings.

What will you gain by filing a cancellation proceeding? If you are successful in the cancellation proceeding, the registered trademark will be invalidated or will be partially canceled. The USPTO cannot enjoin the use of the mark that you have cancelled, nor will it award you attorneys’ fees, damages, or costs when cancelling the mark.

The most practical reason to file a cancellation proceeding in the United States is to remove a registration as an impediment to the Petitioner’s own application. This proceeding is often used to create leverage when an applicant seeks a coexistence agreement with the registered trademark owner. Faced with the threat of cancellation, a registrant may be more amenable to entering into an agreement that defines the scope of use of the respective marks.

In the United States, the legal result of a successful cancellation is the loss of the federal registration. The TTAB does not have the authority to prevent use of an unregistered mark that is the subject of a cancelled registration. In most countries, a successful cancellation action is based on grounds such as likelihood of confusion, descriptiveness or genericness. A Cancellation of a trademark may be used to influence a civil court in further proceedings, as the local trademark office may be considered to possess expertise on those issues.

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