The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has conducted audits, which suggest that more than half of active trademark registrations include some goods or services for which the registered mark is not actually being used. The USPTO's Expedited Cancellation Pilot Program
is one of several efforts to address this problem. Under the program, cancellation proceedings that concern only abandonment or nonuse claims will be eligible for faster resolution under the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) existing Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR) procedures. Under the program, a TTAB judge (not involved in the merits of the cancellation proceeding) and an USPTO interlocutory attorney will participate in the discovery conference to suggest ways to streamline discovery and to encourage adoption of ACR procedures. The TTAB will attempt to issue the final decision within 50 days from when the parties are ready to receive a decision. Parties who wish to participate in the program must receive consent from their opponents and arrange a discovery conference with their interlocutory attorney.
For more information about trademark prosecution, TTAB proceedings and trademark litigation, contact Ned Himmelrich