About TTAB

In a nutshell

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is a neutral body that functions like a court for trademark matters at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Board's administrative trademark judges are authorized to determine a party's right to register a trademark with the federal government. The Board is not authorized to determine whether you have the right to use a trademark, and does not issue injunctions halting use. The Board only determines whether an applicant or registrant has the right to register a mark or to retain a registration under challenge. Additionally, the Board is not authorized to determine questions of trademark infringement or unfair competition or to award money damages or attorney's fees. For anything other than determining the right of federal registration, you must file a case in federal or state court.

While the Board is authorized to handle five different types of cases, there are three main categories of proceedings that applicants and registrants should know about: appeals, oppositions, and cancellations. If you file a case at the TTAB or if someone files a case against you at the TTAB, you will be a party to a legal proceeding and may want to consider hiring an attorney. Any party to such a proceeding without domicile in the United States must be represented by a properly-licensed U.S. attorney.