The following is an edited transcript of my video What is the TTAB?

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is an administrative court at the US Patent and Trademark Office made up of more than 20 administrative judges who primarily decide two types of cases: appeals of final refusals (ex parte appeals) or inter partes cases, which are generally oppositions to pending applications or cancellations of existing registrations. There are approximately 3,300 ex parte appeals, 6,500 oppositions, and 2,200 petitions to cancel filed every year.

Not all of those are decided by the board because many of them are resolved, settled, withdrawn, or defaulted on. A relatively small percentage get all the way to a final decision of the board, but even as a small percentage, that still adds up to a lot of cases every year. The board’s rules are governed by the TTAB Manual of Procedure (TBMP). This is a very thick document full of procedural information about the many stages of appeals or inter partes cases. You can search documents and dockets in TTAB cases in their online system, TTABVUE, and the board has its own online filing system for documents in cases that is called ESTTA.

What happens after a board decision is issued in one of these cases? It could potentially live on in another round of appeals. An appeal of a board decision could go to either:

  1. the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC, which hears several different types of appellate cases, and is just one step removed from the Supreme Court, or
  2. a US District court for a different type of appeal that is really more like a new trial.

For much more on TTAB disputes, see our site here.

Share this blog post >

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *