PTO Wants Dead Trademarks Off of Its Principal Register

PTO seal on wall

The Patent and Trademark Office is proposing streamlined procedures for cancellation proceedings to get defunct trademark registrations off its books.

In a notice published today, the agency said that it wanted to make it easier for challengers to knock out abandoned or unused trademarks. The new procedures would limit discovery, have a shorter timetable and skip oral hearings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

The proposal sets standards for a cancellation petition seeking expedited handling, which would have to be based on a claim of abandonment or nonuse over a period of several years.

Written comments on the proposal are due Aug. 14.