In 2017, the rules of practice before the TTAB changed—making its proceedings more like civil litigation, including initial, expert, and pretrial disclosures. While the rule changes may be a challenge for many firms, Finnegan has a wealth of experience in civil litigation, and we are well prepared to guide our clients through these rules. We have had a substantial practice before the TTAB for decades and typically file or defend as many as 200 new U.S. oppositions and cancellations each year. We have approximately 300 to 400 active U.S. oppositions and cancellations at any time. Many of our trademark attorneys have extensive expertise in handling opposition and cancellation proceedings before the TTAB.
We treat each opposition and cancellation as a unique matter. We look at the claims and defenses and the relevant evidence in view of our client’s goals, resources, and the merits of the case. We then formulate a plan to best achieve that client’s goals, whether by settlement or trying the case. In particular, we develop an early discovery plan for each case. We often recommend minimal, targeted discovery and sometimes no discovery at all. In cases where we represent the plaintiff, we create overall strategies, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the opponent’s use (if any) of the challenged mark.