Was your letter from the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board marked “petition to cancel granted” and you are unsure of what that means?
Obtaining a Trademark for a business, product, or idea is one of the most exhilarating steps on the way to success for any entrepreneur. A trademark puts the final stamp of approval on many hours of labor, product development, and market research. It is the key identifying mark of a brand as it launches into the open market.
However, just because one has jumped through all the right bureaucratic hoops, filed the appropriate paperwork with the correct agencies, and paid the legal fees incurred to acquire a trademark doesn’t mean it is entirely secure. There are many reasons competitors, special interest groups, and even individuals can cancel a trademark. If the response is petition to cancel granted, then the trademark is officially cancelled. If it read “petition to cancel denied“, then the USPTO refused to cancel the trademark.
“The trademark decision “Petition To Cancel Granted” connotes the opposing petition to cancel the trademark in question was granted and the trademark will be removed from the Federal registry.”
Legally speaking, anyone can petition the court (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or TTAB) to “Cancel” a trademark. The reasons one would get a trademark cancelled, or removed from the Federal Registry, are varied and depend on how long it has been registered.
Petition To Cancel Granted Meaning
When a “Petition To Cancel” has been submitted to the TTAB a legal argument must be made based on the courts guidelines and case law. For instances, if the trademark has been in existence for less than five years, an argument that it is confusing or too similar to another existing trademark may be a legally viable argument. However, if it has been registered for over 5 years this argument would not be valid and the petitioner would have to find grounds to cancel under other guidelines, such as the trademark has been abandoned or has become generic.
The owner of the trademark would respond to the petitioner’s arguments and oppose removing the trademark (granted it has not been truly abandoned). After both sides have made their legal arguments, the TTAB will make a ruling. If they rule in favor of the “Petition To Cancel”, the petition will be “granted” and the trademark will be removed from the Federal Registry. The response from the USPTO will be clearly marked “petition to cancel granted” if this applies to your trademark.