Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings are administrative proceedings that mostly follow the procedures established for the federal district courts. The difference is that there is no court to go to deal with the many steps of a case, including the trial. Rather, it is all done between the attorneys and communicating with the TTAB at various points in time. The good news is that these kinds of cases are typically much less expensive than a typical civil suit in court. On the other hand, the jurisdiction of the TTAB is limited to the registrability of the mark.
Opposition Proceedings generally are based upon a likelihood of confusion, or on dilution. Cancellation proceedings can be brought for similar grounds, and often are brought on the basis of abandonment of the registered trademark.
The case generally proceeds with the following steps:
- Initial Pleadings
There are a number of specific requirements during the Discovery period, but generally speaking discovery by each party occurs concurrently. In the Trial/Testimony and Briefing stages the Plaintiff goes first, then the Defendant and then the Plaintiff has an opportunity for the last word (rebuttal).
It is possible to request oral argument at the end of the briefing period, but it is not typically done unless it appears that the case would otherwise not be clear to the TTAB judges that will decide the case.
The foregoing is meant to be a basic explanation for your consideration. We would be happy to discuss your specific situation with you.