ABA, INTA, and Practitioners Respond to TTAB Proposed Rule Changes

Most trademark attorneys are aware of the rule changes proposed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”). Many practictioners are opposed to the rule changes, because they will increase substantially the burden and cost of an opposition. The TTAB proceedings, historically, have been a cost-effective way for parties to resolve trademark disputes.

The new proposed rules also reduce the number of interrogatories from 75 to 25, effectively requiring opposers to conduct costly discovery before filing the opposition. In addition, the TTAB proposes to increase initial disclosures made by the opposers, in hopes of encouraging settlement. The initial investment, however, required to file the opposition under the proposed rules may make settlement actually less likely.

Notwithstanding several requests, including one by this firm, to extend the comment period, the TTAB maintained its deadline of March 20, 2006. The law firm of Oblon Spivak, et al has created a BLOG for posting the results.

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