Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - General
- Where can I call to get information about the TTAB?
You can call the TTAB Assistance Center at 571-272-8500 during normal business hours, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. For General Information press ; to speak with an Information Specialist press .
The Information Specialists 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
- What is a TTAB Proceeding?
There are two types of proceedings before the TTAB, 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.
- 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?
In most cases, the Information Specialists 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 Information Specialist to refer your call to the appropriate TTAB supervisor.
- What is the hand delivery mailing address?
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
- Can I submit papers by fax or email to the TTAB?
No. Effective Jan. 14, 2017, all filings to the TTAB must be submitted through TTAB's Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals "ESTTA". Trademark Rule 2.195(d)(3) bars facsimile transmission of papers to be filed with the TTAB. Submissions filed by fax transmission will not be accorded a date of receipt. The TTAB will not accept any filings by email.
- Can I look at a case file that is pending before the TTAB?
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. TTAB records submitted prior to approximately 2001 are kept in paper. An individual who wishes to inspect or copy one of the paper files is directed to the National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/research.
- Will you fax or email me a copy of a paper from the file?
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.
- Where can I find more information on how the TTAB conducts proceedings?
You can refer to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure "TBMP". The TTAB also follows the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
- Where can I find TTAB decisions?
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 “Board receipts & issued decisions,” or by clicking the Search and view TTAB's decision summaries and final decision link.
- Did all of the rule changes come into effect on Jan. 14, 2017?
Yes, all of the rule changes came into effect on the same date, Jan. 14, 2017.
- Do the Jan. 14, 2017, rule changes apply to pending cases?
Yes, the rule changes apply to all proceedings, including those pending on Jan. 14, 2017. This also includes proceedings instituted prior to 2007 that are still pending.
- Rule 2.142(b)(3) specifies that citation to evidence in briefs should be to the electronic record. Can you provide examples?
Yes. For ex parte appeals, a suggested format is “October 10, 2015 Office Action at 2.” For inter partes appeals, the suggested format is “1 TTABVUE 2.”
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Filing
- How can I file my submissions electronically with the TTAB?
All submissions must be filed electronically through the TTAB’s electronic filing system ESTTA. 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.
- Will my internet browser work for filings with ESTTA?
ESTTA works only if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 11 and Google Chrome Version 43, on PC architecture. While every effort has been made to use standard programming, the USPTO cannot guarantee that ESTTA will function properly using browsers or operating systems other than those identified here. NOTE: Internet Explorer on the Macintosh platform will NOT permit a proper image attachment.
- I am unable to file through ESTTA and I need to file a submission, what do I do?
If ESTTA is down and you have time left to wait, wait for ESTTA to come back online and file online. If not, for extensions of time to file an opposition, a notice of opposition, petition to cancel or answer, file the submission in paper along with a petition to the director, pursuant to 37 CFR 2.146, to request paper filing, and the fees to cover the paper pleading or extension of time, and the petition. To see a complete list of TTAB Fees, select the current Fee Schedule from the USPTO Fees page, then scroll to Trademark Processing Fees 6401/7401. The petition to the director must be based on technical problems with ESTTA or extraordinary circumstances. Include an affidavit or declaration and any other available evidence to support your assertion, e.g., screen print showing ESTTA problem. For all other submissions (e.g., response to a motion) file with the TTAB in paper and include a written explanation as to why you could not file online. The explanation must be based on technical problems with ESTTA or extraordinary circumstances.
- When I file by paper because of technical difficulties with ESTTA or extraordinary circumstances, will it be considered untimely if USPS offices are closed and I just drop it in a mailbox?
For the paper filing you may use the certificate of mailing process and put the filing in a USPS mailbox and the submission will be considered as being timely filed if it is mailed prior to expiration for the set time period.
- How can I file an unconsented motion to extend or suspend online?
- Can the TTAB delete an entry from a TTAB proceeding or remove it from the electronic file?
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.
- I filed my document electronically through ESTTA, but do not see it online in the electronic file shown in TTABVUE. What should I do?
Contact an Information Specialist 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.
- What can I do if my electronic filing through ESTTA appears online with missing pages or pages appear blank?
Contact an Information Specialist at 571-272-8500 and provide the ESTTA tracking number shown on your filing receipt. TTAB staff should be able to retrieve the document.
- There is no ESTTA filing option for an objection to request for extension of time to oppose; request for reconsideration to grant of extension of time to oppose; and relinquishment of extension of time to oppose.
The TTAB will be adding more options for these types of filings. In the meantime, when there is no ESTTA option for a certain type of filing or a miscellaneous option to accommodate other filings, this is a circumstance that falls under the exceptions for filing in paper, without a petition, simply an explanation. Please note that combined complaints (an opposition and a petition in one complaint) do not fall under this exception and should not be filed on paper. Although there is no ESTTA form for a combined complaint, parties should first file the complaint on ESTTA as a notice of opposition under the application serial number(s) that they wish to oppose; then file a separate petition to cancel the registration(s) they wish to cancel and include a motion to consolidate.
- How do I file a combined notice of opposition and petition to cancel in one pleading?
There is no ESTTA form for this type of a filing. File your combined pleading through ESTTA first as a notice of opposition under the application serial number(s) that you wish to oppose. Then file a separate petition to cancel the registration(s) you wish to cancel and include a motion to consolidate.
- How do I file a paper opposition, petition to cancel, answer or extension time with a petition to the director?
The better practice is to send in as separate papers in the same envelope with separate checks for the petition and filing fees. If you are able to file the petition to the director through TEAS include a note in the paper filing that you filed the petition to the director through TEAS. To see a complete list of TTAB Fees, select the current Fee Schedule from the USPTO Fees page, then scroll to Trademark Processing Fees 6401/7401.
- I filed my complaint electronically through ESTTA, and received a receipt but the notice of institution has not gone out, when will it issue?
If a defendant's email address is of record and authorized for communication, the notice will go out immediately, but you should check online after a couple of hours because sometimes there is a delay in the electronic processing. If we do not have an authorized email for the defendant, the notice of institution will be processed by a paralegal and may take a few days, depending on the workload.
- I have a DVD exhibit, how do I send it in?
The TTAB does not accept testimony or other exhibits in CD or DVD format. However, the TTAB has limited exceptions for multimedia exhibits, for example, if an exhibit is a commercial on a DVD, it may be submitted by mail addressed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313-1451. Please include the proceeding number, the testimony under which it is submitted and any other appropriate identifying information.
- What do you mean by proof of service?
Every paper filed in an opposition, cancellation, concurrent use or interference case must be served by email on the other party or parties to the proceeding. This means a copy of the filing must be emailed 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. Parties may stipulate to another form of service (e.g., another form of electronic service or by mail). In addition, if email service is not possible and the parties have not stipulated to another form of service, a party may choose from 6 options and explain why service could not be made via email. See TBMP § 113 for a complete explanation of service requirements.
- What is a certificate of mailing?
The certificate of mailing procedure applies only to submissions filed in paper form via U.S. mail. 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 § 111 for a complete explanation of the certificate of mailing procedure.
- Does the TTAB accept filings on computer discs (CDs) or flash drives?
No. Pleadings, motions, briefs, depositions, testimony, etc. are all required to be submitted electronically via ESTTA. 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.
- What can I do if I could not file a document online by the due date?
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 TTAB will provide general assistance to ESTTA filers, but we cannot guarantee that any problem will be resolved prior to a deadline. ESTTA filing is mandatory for all submissions. If prior to a deadline ESTTA is unavailable due to technical problems or extraordinary circumstances are present, submissions (except for extensions of time to oppose or notices of opposition to a Madrid Protocol application) may be filed in paper form. A Petition to the Director with the required showing and fee must accompany a paper-filed extension of time to oppose, notice of opposition, petition to cancel or answer. All other paper filings must be accompanied by a written explanation of such technical problems or extraordinary circumstances. Please note, if the required showing is not met the paper may not be considered. In addition, paper filings may have higher fees. To see a complete list of TTAB Fees, select the current Fee Schedule from the USPTO Fees page, then scroll to Trademark Processing Fees 6401/7401. Extensions of time to oppose and notices of opposition to Madrid Protocol applications, must be filed through ESTTA without exception.
- What is an extraordinary circumstance for paper filing?
These are determined on a case by case basis.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Fees
- What is the fee for TTAB filing?
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 6401/7401. Please note effective Jan. 14, 2017 certain extensions of time to file an opposition require fees.
- What methods of payment are accepted?
You may pay your fee by check or money order (payable to "Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office"), credit card, deposit account, or by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Most fees can be paid online over the USPTO website. For details on each of these payment methods visit the USPTO Fees page.
- Can I pay the fee for a petition to the director and the notice of opposition/cancellation in one check?
The better practice is to send in separate checks. To see a complete list of TTAB Fees, select the current Fee Schedule from the USPTO Fees page, then scroll to Trademark Processing Fees 6401/7401.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Proceedings
- My application to register was denied by an examining attorney. What can I do?
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.
- Do I need to file an extension of time to oppose or notice of opposition if a letter of protest is granted?
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.
- I missed the time for filing another extension of time to oppose by a day. What can I do about it?
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.
- Can I file an amendment or an express abandonment using ESTTA during the extension of time process?
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".
- I just got a notice of opposition. What's an opposition?
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.
- I just got a petition to cancel. What's a cancellation?
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.
- Can I get an extension of time to answer or to respond to a motion?
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.
- I have just learned that my answer was due, but I did not file an answer. What do I do?
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.
- When can I file an answer if my due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday within the District of Columbia?
Your answer will be due on the next business day. See TBMP § 112.
- Do I need to file initial disclosures with TTAB?
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.
- What is the procedure for having an Interlocutory Attorney participate in the discovery conference?
If any party wishes to have a TTAB professional participate in the required discovery conference, the party must either call the TTAB 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 TTAB attorney. See TBMP § 401.01.
- How do I withdraw my petition to cancel or my notice of opposition?
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.
- 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?
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.
- Am I required to continue filing Section 8 affidavits or declarations if my registration is involved in a cancellation proceeding?
Yes. See 15 U.S.C. § 1058 and TMEP § 1604.
- Can I file Section 15 affidavits or declarations while a registration is involved in a Board proceeding?
No. See 15 U.S.C. § 1065 and TMEP § 1605.
- 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?
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.
- 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"?
There are several organizations you can contact regarding ADR.
- What happens when no answer has been filed?
When no answer has been filed, all other deadlines are tolled. If the parties have continued to litigate after an answer is late‑filed, it will generally be viewed as a waiver of the technical default.
- Can I amend my notice of opposition to add a joint opposer after the time period for filing a notice of opposition has expired?
No. After the close of the time period for filing a Notice of Opposition, the notice may not be amended to add a joint opposer. However, assignees and successors may be joined or substituted during a proceeding, even when they are "joined," they are not considered joint opposers.
- What is the deadline for filing a motion for summary judgment?
Motions for summary judgment must be filed prior to the deadline for plaintiff’s pretrial disclosures for the first testimony period.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Pro Se
- Do I need an attorney to represent me in a TTAB proceeding?
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.
- Can you help me find an attorney?
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.
- Can I ask a TTAB employee to help me in the proceeding?
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.
- How can I find out more information about TTAB proceedings and how to properly conduct my case?
You can refer to the TTAB's Manual of Procedure "TBMP". The TTAB also follows the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
- I just received a notice of opposition or a cancellation, and I do not have an attorney. What do I do?
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 Procedure "TBMP".
- How does the Board conduct inter partes proceedings?
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.
- How can I check what papers have been filed in my case?
You can check the electronic file in TTABVUE. You can also call the TTAB Information Specialists at 571-272-8500 to request information on the status of your case.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Rule Changes
- When did the rule changes come into effect?
All of the rule changes came into effect on Jan. 14, 2017 and are applicable to all proceedings including those pending on Jan. 14, 2017.
- Under the rule changes discovery responses must be served prior to the close of discovery, will that apply to cases pending on Jan. 14, 2017?
Yes. The effective date has been set a few months after publication of the rules in order to allow parties time to adjust their docketing schedules.
- Under the rule changes motions to compel and motions for summary judgment must be filed prior to the pretrial disclosure deadline, will that apply to cases pending on Jan. 14, 2017?
Yes. The effective date was set a few months after publication of the rules on Oct. 7, 2016 in order to allow parties time to adjust their docketing schedules.
- Under the rule changes motions to compel initial disclosures must be filed within 30 days after the deadline for initial disclosures, will that apply to cases pending on Jan. 14, 2017?
Yes. The effective date has been set a few months after publication of the rules in order to allow parties time to adjust their docketing schedules.
- My trial opens on Jan. 14, 2017, may I submit testimony by affidavit or declaration?
Yes, even though the pretrial disclosure was served before the effective date of the new rules you may present the testimony of those disclosed witnesses by affidavit or declaration if your trial period is open on or after Jan. 14, 2017.
- As the plaintiff, do I need to serve a copy of my complaint on the defendant?
No. The Board will issue a notice of institution and serve the complaint on the defendant in the form of a web link or web address to access the complaint and proceeding on TTABVUE.
- Discovery responses must be served in the discovery period, what about supplemental responses?
The duty to supplement under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(e) continues after close of discovery.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - Status Information
- What is the status of my case?
You can check the electronic file in TTABVUE. You can also call the TTAB Information Specialists at 571-272-8500 to request information on the status of your case. Please be aware that the Information Specialists 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 rare instances, due to technical difficulties with ESTTA or extraordinary circumstances, a submission was filed by hand, traditional mail, or a delivery service, it may take some time for such newly filed papers to reach the TTAB and be processed. In contrast, submissions filed electronically appear in the record almost immediately.
- How can I find out if you have received my filing?
When you file you should have received an ESTTA tracking number. Most 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 Information Specialist, 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.
- 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?
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 and/or email notification when a notice of default issues. If an answer has been filed on paper it will be scanned into TTABVUE and you should be able to view it there.
- When will my contested motion be decided?
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.
- When can I expect a final decision on my appeal?
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.
- When can I expect a final decision in my opposition or cancellation proceeding?
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.
- When can I expect a decision on my consented or uncontested motion?
Presently, the TTAB is rendering decisions on these filings approximately ten (10) days after the filing date of a consented motion or ten (10) days after a response to an unconsented motion was due.