What You Need to Know

Major Changes to the TTAB Rules of Practice

Patricia S. Smart

©2017. Published in Landslide, Vol. 9, No. 4, March/April 2017, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

On January 14, 2017, revised rules of procedure went into effect for all opposition and cancellation proceedings—both newly filed proceedings and those already pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Many of the revisions to the TTAB Rules of Practice, 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.91 et seq., add clarity by codifying case law and the TTAB’s practices. Other revisions, however, make significant changes to TTAB practice, some of which require that we rethink the approaches we have used in these proceedings. There are numerous revisions, including an expanded requirement of electronic filing, a requirement of service by e-mail, new limits on written discovery requests, earlier deadlines for the filing of many motions, and the presentation of trial testimony by declaration. Some of the most far-reaching changes are highlighted here—and all can be found in the Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice in the Federal Register.1

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