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Written January 23, 2019
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has started a pilot program for cancellation proceedings involving claims of abandonment and/or nonuse. The pilot program will explore a faster, more cost-effective way to remove unused or abandoned registrations from the Trademark Register. The program is part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's initiatives to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Trademark Register.
In March 2018, the TTAB began identifying instituted cancellations involving only abandonment or nonuse grounds as potentially eligible for the program. In such cases, once an answer is filed, the assigned TTAB Interlocutory Attorney informs the parties that the TTAB will participate in their mandatory discovery conference. However, you may participate in the pilot even if your case was not initially identified by the TTAB, and even if you already conducted your discovery conference. Coordinate with your opponent and call the Interlocutory Attorney assigned to schedule a conference.