Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is a body within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) responsible for hearing and deciding certain kinds of cases involving trademarks. These include appeals from decisions by USPTO Examiners denying registration of marks, and opposition proceedings filed against trademark applications. TTAB panels hear hundreds of claims each year asserting that trademarks should not be registered because they are generic, disparaging, or confusingly similar to existing marks. Such challenges to registration are initially considered by trademark examining attorneys, whose judgment may be appealed to the TTAB. Decisions of the TTAB may, in turn, be appealed to a United States district court, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The TTAB is also responsible for hearing certain kinds of inter partes proceedings, including oppositions to registration, cancellation proceedings against registered marks, and concurrent use proceedings where a party alleges its mark is entitled to joint registration, carving geographic territory out of that held by a registered mark.
Practices and procedures for litigating before the TTAB are published in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure, commonly known as the "TBMP".
Judges of the TTAB
Judges of the TTAB are appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Director of the USPTO. From 1999 to 2009, a change in the statute permitted a number of TTAB judges to be appointed by the USPTO Director, but this arrangement was challenged as unconstitutional under Article Two, Section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution (the Appointments Clause), which permits the United States Congress to "vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments". Congress addressed this by passing a 2008 amendment which specifies that the Secretary of Commerce is responsible for such appointments, and permitting the Secretary to retroactively appoint those persons named by the USPTO Director. There are currently twenty-three judges sitting at the TTAB [as of August 2018].
|Judge||Appointed||Prior professional experience||Education|
|Gerard F. Rogers (Chief Judge)||1999||Trademark Examining Attorney, 1987-90; Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks, 1990-92; TTAB Staff Attorney, 1992-99||B.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst; J.D. magna cum laude, New England School of Law|
|Michael B. Adlin||2012||TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; USPTO Office of External Affairs; Private Practice||B.A., Duke University, J.D., Boston University School of Law|
|Marc A. Bergsman||2006||Trademark Examining Attorney; Trademark Managing Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Private Practice (Washington, D.C.)||B.A., Miami University, J.D. Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University|
|Peter W. Cataldo||2006||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney||B.A., Canisius College; J.D., Albany Law School|
|Robert H. Coggins||2016||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney||B.S., Davidson College; J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law|
|Cheryl S. Goodman||2014||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney||B.A., University of Illinois, J.D., Florida State College of Law|
|Francie R. Gorowitz||2012||Trademark Examining Attorney; Private Practice (Los Angeles)||B.A., State University of New York at Cortland, J.D., Albany Law School|
|Cindy B. Greenbaum||2012||Private Practice (New York and Washington, D.C.); Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; TTAB Managing Interlocutory Attorney (2006-2011)||Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; J.D., New York University School of Law|
|David K. Heasley||2015||Private Practice (Washington, DC)||B.A., The Johns Hopkins University; J.D., University of Maryland School of Law|
|Susan J. Hightower||2012||Private Practice (Austin, Texas)||B.A., Austin College; M.A., University of Texas; J.D. Stanford Law School|
|Linda A. Kuczma||2011||Private Practice(Chicago, Ill.)||B.S., St. Mary's University; J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law|
|Karen Kuhlke||2005||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Private Practice||B.A., University of Kansas; M.A., Columbia University; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center.|
|Christopher Larkin||2016||Private Practice (Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY)||B.A., Stanford University; J.D., Columbia Law School.|
|Angela Lykos||2010||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Private Practice||B.A., M.A., The Johns Hopkins University; J.D., Duke University Law School.|
|Cynthia C. Lynch||2015||Private Practice; Attorney-Advisor at the International Trade Commission; USPTO Assistant Solicitor: USPTO Administrator for Trademark Policy and Procedure||B.A., University of North Carolina; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law.|
|David Mermelstein||2006||TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; TTAB Supervisory Attorney; Trademark Examining Attorney||B.A. New College, Hofstra University; J.D., American University.|
|George C. Pologeorgis||2015||TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; TTAB Attorney in the Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training; Trademark Examining Attorney; Private Practice||B.A. University of Pennsylvania; J.D., George Washington University National Law Center.|
|Lorelei Ritchie||2008||Private Practice; Arbitrator and judge pro tem, Orange and Los Angeles counties, California; Intellectual Property Manager, UCLA; Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Assistant Professor, Florida State University School of Law||A.B., Stanford University; J.D., Columbia University.|
|Thomas Shaw||2011||Associate Solicitor at the USPTO, 2007-August 2011; Managing Attorney (1997-2007), Senior Attorney (1994-1997), and Examining Attorney (1989-1994) at the PTO||B.A., The George Washington University; J.D., University of Miami School of Law.|
|Jyll Taylor||2006||TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Trademark Examining Attorney||B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; J.D., Howard University School of Law.|
|Thomas W. Wellington||2007||TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Trademark Examining Attorney; Private Practice||B.A., University of Maryland at College Park; J.D., American University Washington College of Law.|
|Frances Wolfson||2010||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Private Practice||B.A., U.C. Santa Barbara; J.D., U.C.L.A..|
|Albert Zervas||2005||Trademark Examining Attorney; TTAB Interlocutory Attorney; Private Practice (New York and Washington, D.C.)||B.A. and J.D., University of Virginia.|
- Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure
- Translogic Technology, Inc. v. Dudas, U.S., No. 07-1303, 10/6/08.
- Website of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
- The TTABlog - Keeping Tabs on the TTAB (Blog by John L. Welch, a Harvard-educated intellectual property attorney and frequent lecturer on TTAB practices and procedures)