Q&A: Can I cancel another person’s trademark?

This question came from an email. If you’d like to submit a question, do it! Send an email to leland@lawofthebrand.com.

Question


Hi,

I have a question and am not sure if this is the right place. If it isn’t pls if you can point me in the right direction.

If it is, I was curious to know the process on filing for cancellation for an already registered trademark. The trademark seems to be blocking the name but not being used, and I wanted to know what can be done. Pls include any steps and costs pertaining to the steps that are needed.

Thanks,
[person]

Response

Hi [person],

Thank you for reaching out. Commencing a trademark cancellation proceeding is similar to filing a lawsuit in court. You must file a petition to cancel and the owner must then file a response. If no response is filed, you may be able to have the trademark cancelled by default–meaning you do not have to go through a litigation process. This is the least expensive route and may cost $3,000 in fees, excluding costs.

If the trademark owner opposes, you will be in litigation and must build your case for an ultimate trial. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances.

I’m happy to discuss the matter in more detail over skype. Let me know if you are interested!

Additional Comment

I should also mention that an even less expensive option might be getting in touch with the trademark owner and seeing if they even want the trademark anymore. If not, you can potentially purchase the trademark rights from the person. That’s even easier!

About the picture

A morning hike with my family in Ririe, Idaho near the Cress Creek trail.

Leland Faux
Attorney Leland Faux blogs about trademark, copyright, and online business issues at Law of the Brand. You can submit a question by email to thelawofthebrand@gmail.com.

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