Trademark Letters of Protest: No Need to Wait, Protest Now!

If you or your company own any trademarks or service marks, you may discover one day that a competitor has applied to register a confusingly similar mark, is seeking registration of a generic or descriptive word, or is attempting to register a term of art for goods or services that are the subject of your business. When this happens, you may feel that your hands are tied and the only option is to wait until the mark is published for opposition in order to take action and file a Notice of Opposition with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. While filing a Notice of Opposition can be an effective solution, it can also be costly and time consuming. Rather than waiting until the postexamination opposition period, another available option is to consider filing a Letter of Protest (LOP) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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