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TTAB Facts and Questions

 

General Information

Q1: Where can I call to get information about the TTAB?

A: You can call the TTAB Customer Service Center at 571-272-8500. For General Information press [4]; to speak with a Customer Service Representative press [0].

The Customer Service Representatives are available to:

  • answer telephone inquiries
  • explain how to access pertinent legal provisions and related administrative practices
  • provide status information on pending cases
  • provide access to the files of pending cases
  • assist in resolving problems

Q2: What is a TTAB Proceeding?

A: There are two types of proceedings before the Board, an ex parte appeal from denial of your application for registration by an examining attorney, and an inter partes opposition, cancellation, concurrent use or interference proceeding.

Q3: What if my problem is not resolved or I need assistance with an unusual situation? What if I want to make a suggestion about TTAB processes?

A: In most cases, the Customer Service Representatives can answer your questions, or can refer you to the appropriate person to handle your concern. However, if you need additional help, you may ask the Customer Service Representative to refer your call to the appropriate TTAB supervisor.

Q4: What is the hand delivery mailing address?

A: Trademark-related mail to be delivered by hand or other private courier or delivery service (e.g. UPS, Federal Express) to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, must be delivered to:

The Trademark Assistance Center

Madison East, Concourse level Room C55

600 Dulany Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

More information on mailing addresses can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/mail.jsp.

Q5: Can I submit papers by fax or email to the TTAB?

A: No faxed documents will be accepted except for the Notice of Appeal in an ex-parte appeal proceeding. Trademark Rule 2.195(d)(3) bars facsimile transmission of papers to be filed with the TTAB, except for notices of ex parte appeal. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure notes that if other papers are filed with the TTAB by fax transmission, they will not receive a filing date. The Board will not accept any filings by email. Electronic documents may be submitted through the Board’s electronic filing system, ESTTA. TBMP § 107.

Q6: Can I look at a case file that is pending before the TTAB?

A: Case files are public records and are open to the public for review, except for certain documents filed under a claim of confidentiality. The easiest way to review a file is through the electronic system, TTABVue.

To look at a file, you can review or print it out yourself using TTABVue. In the event that the file exists only in paper or is a hybrid file (i.e., partially electronic and partially in paper), you can arrange to come to the TTAB's offices, or hire someone to copy a file for you. Please be aware that it may take some days to order and receive an archived physical file from the warehouse. The TTAB Customer Service Center makes every effort to provide public access to application files, opposition files, cancellation files and concurrent use files immediately upon request for access.

Q7: Will you fax or email me a copy of a paper from the file?

A: No, we do not fax or email papers to parties or other persons requesting copies. You can review or print papers from a file through TTABVue.

Q8: Where can I find more information on how the TTAB conducts proceedings?

A: You can refer to the TTAB Manual of Procedure (TBMP). The TTAB also follows the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Q9: Where can I find TTAB decisions?

A: On our website, you can access TTAB decisions from 11/19/1996 to the present. You can access these decisions through the TTAB homepage under “TTAB Final Decision,” or by clicking this link: TTAB decisions link.

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Fee Information

Q1: What is the fee for filing? 

A: Depending on the type of proceeding, fees vary. To see a complete list of TTAB Fees, select the current Fee Schedule from the USPTO Fees page, then scroll to Trademark Processing Fees.

Q2: What methods of payment are accepted? 

A: You may pay your fee by cash (in-person only), by check, credit card, deposit account, electronic funds transfer (EFT), or by wire. Most fees can be paid online over the USPTO website. For details on each of these payment methods visit the USPTO Fees page.

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Filing Papers Electronically with the TTAB

Q1: How can I file my papers electronically with the TTAB? 

A: You must use the Board’s electronic filing system ESTTA. Using ESTTA, you can complete and submit forms to the TTAB over the Internet, make an official filing online, or print out the completed form for mailing to the TTAB. Please keep your ESTTA tracking number as it may be needed to retrieve submissions that do not display correctly or fix submissions that display incorrectly.

Q2: Will my internet browser work for filings with ESTTA? 

A: ESTTA works only if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer [Version 4.0 or later] or Netscape Navigator [Version 4.0 or later]. ESTTA utilizes Javascript and the file upload feature supported by these browser versions. NOTE: Internet Explorer on the Macintosh platform will NOT permit a proper image attachment.

Q3: Where can I get more information about filing online using ESTTA? 

A: The ESTTA User Manual provides detailed instructions. General information is also available on the ESTTA Welcome page.

Q4: How can I file a consented motion to extend or suspend online? 

A: Use ESTTA and select the “Consent Motions (opposition or cancellation)” option under the “File Documents in a Board Proceeding” option and choose the appropriate form.

Q5: How can I file an unconsented motion to extend or suspend online? 

A: Use ESTTA and select the “Opposition, Cancellation, or Concurrent Use (General Filings)” option under the “File Documents in a Board Proceeding” form. Be sure to serve the motion on the other side, and include a certificate of service, see TBMP § 113.

Q6: Can the TTAB delete an entry from a TTAB proceeding or remove it from the electronic file? 

A: In general, no. If you accidentally filed confidential material through ESTTA without flagging it as confidential, we can change the status of the item so that it cannot be viewed publicly. You will usually be required to submit a public, redacted version of the item so it can be viewed in the electronic file.

Q7: I filed my document electronically through ESTTA, but do not see it online in the electronic file shown in TTABVue. What should I do? 

A: Contact a Customer Service Representative at 571-272-8500 and provide the ESTTA tracking number shown on your filing receipt. TTAB staff will track it down and call you back with the information.

Q8: What can I do if my electronic filing through ESTTA appears online with missing pages or pages appear blank? 

A: Contact a Customer Service Representative at 571-272-8500 and provide the ESTTA tracking number shown on your filing receipt. TTAB staff should be able to retrieve the document.

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Status Information

Q1: What is the status of my case? 

A: You can check the electronic file in TTABVue. You can also call the TTAB Customer Service Representatives at 571-272-8500 to request information on the status of your case. Please be aware that the Customer Service Representatives also use TTABVue and likely will have no different information. Otherwise, allow a reasonable period of time to pass before calling to check status. In the event that a submission was filed by hand, traditional mail, or a delivery services, it may take some time for such newly filed papers to reach the TTAB and be processed. In contrast, when submissions are filed electronically, they will appear in the record almost immediately.

Q2: How can I find out if you have received my filing? 

If you filed electronically, you should have received an ESTTA tracking number. Papers filed electronically are uploaded immediately to TTABVue, and you should be able to see your filing there. If your submission is not showing, or there is another problem with the submission, you can call the Customer Service Representative, explain the problem, and provide the ESTTA tracking number. If they are not able to resolve the problem, they will notify the TTAB’s IT specialist.

Q3: An answer was due in this proceeding a long time ago, and we have not received a copy of an answer from the defendant. What happens next? 

A: Check TTABVue to see whether an answer has been entered in the file. If not, the TTAB sets the call-back date for entry of a notice of default about 10 days after the answer was due. You will receive a copy of the notice of default. If an answer has been filed on paper it will be scanned into TTABVue and you should be able to view it there.

Q4: When will my motion be decided? 

A: Our goal is to decide contested motions in less than three (3) months. Your case will be decided in turn. If you have not received something from us after four (4) months, you may call to check the status of your motion. For further pendency information, see the TTAB’s Dashboard at http://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/TTAB/main.dashxml.

Q5: When can I expect a decision on my appeal? 

A: Presently, the TTAB is rendering decisions in ex-parte appeals approximately ten (10) weeks after all briefs have been submitted or after a hearing date. Up to date pendency information can be found on the TTAB’s Dashboard at http://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/TTAB/main.dashxml.

Q6: When can I expect a decision in my opposition or cancellation proceeding? 

A: Presently, the TTAB is rendering decisions in these proceedings approximately ten (10) weeks after the case is ready for decision. Up to date pendency information can be found on the TTAB’s Dashboard at http://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/TTAB/main.dashxml.

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Information About TTAB Proceedings

Q1: My application to register was denied by an examining attorney. What can I do? 

A: You can file an appeal to the TTAB. You must file the appeal within six months of the mailing date of the final refusal to register. For more information, see TBMP Chapter 1200.

Q2: Do I need to file an extension of time to oppose or notice of opposition if a letter of protest is granted? 

A: Yes, the filing of a letter of protest, whether before or after publication of the mark, does not stay the time for filing an opposition or an extension of time to oppose the subject mark. If a party files a letter of protest before publication but the subject mark still publishes for opposition, then the party must timely file a request for extension of time to oppose, if it wishes to preserve its right to oppose. Similarly, if a party that files a letter of protest after publication wishes to preserve its right to oppose, it too must file a timely request for an extension of time to oppose. Regardless of when the letter of protest was filed, if the subject mark has published for opposition, the party may choose to file a notice of opposition instead of a request for extension of time to oppose and request that the opposition be suspended pending a determination of the letter of protest. See TBMP § 215. Note: a Letter of Protest is considered good cause for the first 90-day request to extend time to file an opposition, but does not constitute extraordinary circumstance to grant the final 60-day request to extend time. Potential opposer will have to secure the consent of the applicant or file a notice of opposition within the time set.

Q3: I missed the time for filing another extension of time to oppose by a day. What can I do about it? 

A: Unfortunately, you have missed your opportunity to file an opposition. Time limits for filing Notices of Opposition or Requests for Extensions of Time to Oppose are strictly enforced. You may file a petition to cancel, after the trademark registers. It takes about three (3) months from the close of the opposition period (including extensions) until a registration issues if the case is not an Intent to Use case. It may take much longer for an Intent to Use case to mature to registration. Check the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval database (TSDR) to see if it has registered.

Q4: Can I file an amendment or an express abandonment using ESTTA during the extension of time process? 

A: No. Before an opposition is filed, including the extensions of time period, an amendment or an express abandonment should be filed with the Trademark Office, and can electronically be filed through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Q5: I just got a notice of opposition. What's an opposition? 

A: An opposition is a proceeding in which one party is seeking to prevent registration of another party's trademark. Under the law, if a party believes that he will be damaged by the registration of a mark, he can file an opposition. For more information, see TBMP § 102.02.

Q6: I just got a petition to cancel. What's a cancellation? 

A: A cancellation is a proceeding in which a party seeks to cancel an existing registration of a mark. Under the law, a person who believes he will be damaged by the registration may file a petition to cancel. For more information, see TBMP § 102.02.

Q7: Can I get an extension of time to answer or to respond to a motion? 

A: To get an extension of time, you must file a motion. Your motion may be contested. If it is not contested, it will be granted as conceded. If the motion is contested it may be denied, so you may wish to get the consent of the other side and file the motion with their consent. See TBMP § 509.

Q8: I have just learned that my answer was due, but I did not file an answer. What do I do? 

A: You must file a motion to the TTAB asking that the TTAB accept a late-filed answer. In your motion, you must to set forth the reasons why the filing is late. The TTAB will consider whether you have shown good cause to set aside the default. Do not forget to serve a copy on the other side, including a certificate of service, see TBMP § 113. You may also want to confirm that your mailing address is correct.

Q9: When can I file an answer if my due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia? 

A: Your answer will be due on the next business day. See TBMP § 112.

Q10: Do I need to file initial disclosures with TTAB? 

A: No, written disclosures or disclosed documents, requests for discovery, and materials or depositions obtained through the discovery process should not be filed with the Board except when submitted with a motion relating to disclosure or discovery, or in support of or response to a motion for summary judgment, or under a notice of reliance, when permitted, during a party's testimony period.

Q11: What is the procedure for having an Interlocutory Attorney participate in the discovery conference? 

A: If any party wishes to have a Board professional participate in the required discovery conference, the party must either call the Board attorney assigned to the case or file a request through ESTTA. Such request should be made no later than ten (10) days prior to the deadline for conducting the discovery conference, so as to facilitate completion of the conference by the deadline. Filing a request using ESTTA is preferred; however, parties are encouraged to follow up a few days later with a phone call to the Board attorney assigned to the case if they have not yet been contacted by a Board attorney. See TBMP § 401.01.

Q12: How do I withdraw my petition to cancel or my notice of opposition? 

A: You must file a document stating what you wish to do. However, once an answer is filed, if you want the matter dismissed without prejudice, you will need to obtain the written consent of the other side; and, of course, you need to serve the other party to the proceeding with a copy of anything you file. If you do not obtain written consent, the proceeding will be dismissed with prejudice.

Q13: The parties have agreed to settle the opposition case by amending the identification of goods in the involved application. Do I file directly with the trademark examining attorney or do I need to request remand to the examining attorney? 

A: If a proceeding has been commenced and is still pending at the TTAB, you or your counsel must file the amendment with the TTAB. The Examining Attorney does not have jurisdiction over the case while a proceeding is pending at the TTAB. The TTAB will consider the amendment and, if appropriate, enter it into the application file. See TBMP § 514. However, if an opposition is not yet pending, and the application is only under threat of an opposition because of the filing of an extension of time to oppose, you or your attorney may file a post publication amendment. If you wish to file such an amendment, you may do so by using the post publication amendment form available on-line via the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). In the latter circumstance, you and the potential opposer should note that the Board will not suspend the running of the extended opposition period to accommodate processing of the post publication amendment.

Q14: What can I do if I could not file a document online by the due date? 

A: PLAN AHEAD. Because unexpected problems can occur, you should keep filing deadlines in mind and allow plenty of time to resolve any issue which might arise. The Board will provide general assistance to ESTTA filers, but we cannot guarantee that any problem will be resolved prior to a deadline. Except for extensions of time to oppose and notices of opposition to Madrid Protocol applications, ESTTA filing is optional. In other cases, if ESTTA filing is not possible prior to a deadline for any reason, parties should submit their filings by paper.

Q15: What do you mean by proof of service? 

A: Every paper filed in an opposition, cancellation, concurrent use or interference case must be served on the other party or parties to the proceeding. This means a copy of the filing must be mailed to or delivered to the other party. Proof of service must be attached to the paper you file with the TTAB. This is a statement signed by the attorney or other authorized representative, stating the date of service and the manner in which service was made. See TBMP § 113 for a complete explanation of service requirements.

Q16: What is a certificate of mailing? 

A: The certificate of mailing procedure applies only to submissions filed in paper form. It allows that, except in certain instances, correspondence required to be filed by a certain date will be considered as timely filed, even though it was not received by the TTAB until after the expiration of the set period. See TBMP § 110 for a complete explanation of the certificate of mailing procedure.

Q17: Does the TTAB accept filings on computer discs (CDs) or flash drives? 

A: No. Pleadings, motions, briefs, depositions, testimony, etc. are all required to be submitted electronically via ESTTA, or on paper. Video depositions or testimony are specifically not allowed. However, media evidence that cannot be submitted any other way (such as a movie, television show, or radio commercial), may be submitted on an appropriate medium such as DVD or videotape.

Q18: Am I required to continue filing Section 8 affidavits or declarations if my registration is involved in a cancellation proceeding? 

A: Yes. See 15 U.S.C. § 1058 and TMEP § 1604.

Q19: Can I file Section 15 affidavits or declarations while a registration is involved in a Board proceeding? 

A: No. See 15 U.S.C. § 1065 and TMEP § 1605.

Q20: I think we might be able to resolve this matter if we can get some assistance in an alternative forum. Where can I get assistance in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)? 

A: There are several organizations you can contact regarding ADR.

Q21: Does the TTAB take judicial notice of the USPTO records? / There are USPTO registrations which may be helpful to my case, will the TTAB take judicial notice of them? 

A: No. In order to introduce USPTO records into evidence you must follow the correct procedure. For more information please see TBMP Chapter 700 on Trial Procedure and the Introduction of Evidence.

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Pro Se Information (I am representing myself in a TTAB Proceeding)

Q1: Do I need an attorney to represent me in a TTAB proceeding? 

A: While you can represent yourself in a TTAB proceeding, you might wish to consider hiring an attorney to represent you. An opposition or cancellation proceeding is just like a case in court. Even if you do not have an attorney, you will be expected to follow the Rules of Practice for the TTAB and the Federal Rules of Evidence, which are followed by the TTAB. You may find it difficult to properly conduct your case without legal counsel.

Q2: Can you help me find an attorney? 

A: No, the TTAB cannot recommend an attorney to you. Any attorney licensed to practice in the United States may represent you before the TTAB. However, intellectual property law (which includes trademark law) is a specialized area of the law. You may wish to keep this in mind as you choose an attorney.

Q3: Can I ask a TTAB employee to help me in the proceeding? 

A: No. The TTAB is the administrative body that decides ex-parte appeals, oppositions, cancellations and concurrent use proceedings. For this reason, we must remain impartial. We can offer general factual information about TTAB procedure, but no TTAB employee may advise you on your case. We cannot discuss how the rules and law apply to your individual circumstances, cannot recommend a course of legal action, and cannot comment on how your case may be decided.

Q4: How can I find out more information about TTAB proceedings and how to properly conduct my case? 

A: You can refer to the TTAB Manual of Procedure (TBMP). The TTAB also follows the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Q5: I just received a notice of opposition or a cancellation, and I do not have an attorney. What do I do? 

A: First, you will need to file an answer within the time stated in the order you received from the TTAB. In your answer, for each numbered paragraph you see in the notice of opposition, you should indicate the number and then admit or deny the statement, or state that you are without enough information to admit or deny the statements made in these numbered paragraphs. It is possible that you may have certain defenses that should be stated as well, but we cannot give you any advice on those, which is why we recommend that you obtain the advice of an attorney. It may be helpful for you to read the TTAB Manual of Board Procedure (TBMP) .

Q6: How does the Board conduct inter partes proceedings? 

A: An inter partes proceeding before the Board is similar to a civil action (trial) in a federal district court. The parties file pleadings, a range of possible motions, discovery (a party’s use of discovery depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents and things, and requests for admission to ascertain the facts underlying its adversary’s case), a trial period, and briefs, followed by a decision on the merits of the proceeding. You can review the Board’s manual of procedure, the TBMP, for more information.

Q7: How can I check what papers have been filed in my case? 

A: You can check the electronic file in TTABVue. You can also call the TTAB Customer Service Representatives at 571-272-8500 to request information on the status of your case.

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 7/25/2014 6:41:43 AM