The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is a body within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) responsible for hearing and deciding certain kinds of cases involving trademarks. These include appeals from decisions by USPTO Examiners denying registration of marks, and opposition proceedings filed against trademark applications. TTAB panels hear hundreds of claims each year asserting that trademarks should not be registered because they are generic, disparaging, or confusingly similar to existing marks. Such challenges to registration are initially considered by trademark examining attorneys, whose judgment may be appealed to the TTAB. Decisions of the TTAB may, in turn, be appealed to a United States district court, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The TTAB is also responsible for hearing certain kinds of inter partes proceedings, including oppositions to registration, cancellation proceedings against registered marks, and concurrent use proceedings where a party alleges its mark is entitled to joint registration, carving geographic territory out of that held by a registered mark.
Practices and procedures for litigating before the TTAB are published in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure, commonly known as the “TBMP”.
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