The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure outlines the rules and procedures of parties with trial cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
The primary purpose of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP), as stated in its introduction, is “to provide stakeholders with basic information generally useful for litigating trial cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).” Stakeholders can be parties in a case before the TTAB, their trademark attorneys or companies thinking about filing a new proceeding.
The TBMP and TTAB case law illustrate that the TMBP procedure guidelines do not create any rights or carry the weight of the law that can be enforced against third parties or the TTAB itself. The goal of the TBMP is to allow parties before the TTAB, especially in Opposition and Cancellation proceedings, to know what to anticipate during the cases and how the TTAB expects parties to act during litigation.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure cover page and table of contents seen through the .PDF version found here.
There are several different ways to access the TBMP online through the USPTO website. Users who are more old school can use the .PDF version of the TBMP. While users who appreciate more modern software, such as a search bar, can use the electronic version of the TBMP. In addition, the electronic version of the TBMP has a sidebar that allows users to jump to the relevant section they may be looking up, which may be pleadings or discover.
Electronic version of the TBMP found on the USPTO website is a useful upgrade for most of the old hard copy or .PDF versions.
The TBMP is divided into twelve different sections, three attachments, and a searchable index arranged alphabetically (similar to the end of a textbook). The twelve sections are broken up into common sense headings such as pleadings, discovery, general information, ex parte appeals and more. There are also three helpful attachments for trademark lawyers or and non-lawyers, which are an appendix of forms, list of cases, and index of changes throughout the manual from previous editions. Lastly, there is the TBMP Subject Matter Index, which is helpful for people who like the old school text book indexes to hone in on a specific problem.
The TBMP Subject Matter Index allows users to narrow down on very specific issues.
Do you have any questions or comments about the TBMP and how to use it? Leave them in the space below or contact us and we will do our best to help you out.