Cancellation Proceeding (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Cancellation proceeding in trademark is a proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in which the plaintiff seeks to cancel an existing registration of a mark. The proceeding can only be filed after issuance of a registration. A petition for cancellation can be filed by any person who believes that s/he is or will be damaged by the registration of the mark. In the U.S., a petition to cancel a registration can only be filed after a trademark has achieved registration on either the Principal or the Supplemental Registers for up to five years after the registration date.

After five years, a petition for cancellation can be filed based on the following grounds:

  • The mark is generic.
  • The mark has been abandoned.
  • The mark consists of a flag or insignia of the U.S. or any foreign nation.
  • The registration was fraudulently obtained.
  • The mark is being used so as to misrepresent the source of the goods or services.
  • The mark is deceptive.
  • The mark disparages a person, institution or belief or national symbol, or brings a person into disrepute.
  • The mark is scandalous.
  • The mark comprises matter that, as a whole, is functional.
  • The mark would dilute the distinctive quality of plaintiff’s famous mark.