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USPTO Expedited Cancellation Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is piloting a program to explore the effectiveness of an expedited cancellation proceeding for challenges to registrations of allegedly unused marks as part of the USPTO’s initiatives to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The program is designed to save users time and money compared to the traditional proceeding.

This initiative is part of a larger effort from the USPTO to make sure that registered trademarks that are not actually in use in commerce may block other trademark owners from registering their marks.

Under this pilot program, the TTAB identifies newly- filed cancellation proceedings limited to abandonment or nonuse claims that may benefit by some form of the Board’s existing Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR) procedures. The TTAB has an established practice of offering ACR in inter partes proceedings to simplify and speed up proceedings, allowing the parties to save time and money.

The TTAB began identifying instituted cancellations involving ONLY ABANDONMENT OR NONUSE GROUNDS as potentially eligible for the program. In such cases, once the answer is filed, the assigned TTAB Interlocutory Attorney informs the parties that the TTAB will participate in their mandatory discovery conference. The TTAB makes every effort to issue final decisions in ACR cases within 50 days once they are ready for decision.

You may participate in the pilot even if your case is not initially identified by the TTAB, and even if you already conducted by your discovery conference. Coordinate with your opponent and call the Interlocutory Attorney assigned to schedule a conference.

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