Grounds for Cancellation Law and Legal Definition

Cancellation of a trademark registration can occur within the first five years of registration. Reasons to preclude the mark from registration can include matters such as :

1) Likelihood of confusion with petitioner's previously used or registered mark,

2) Fraud,

3) Descriptiveness,

4) Genericness,

5) Abandonment,

6) Misdescriptiveness and deceptiveness.

However, fair use, trademark misuse, unfair competition, or violation of anti-trust laws are generally not considered valid grounds for cancellation.

After five years of registration, and if incontestability status has been successfully obtained, the mark can not be canceled on the basis that the mark lacks distinctiveness or creates a likelihood of confusion with a prior-registered mark. However, the mark can still be canceled on the basis of: genericness, abandonment, fraud, forbidden mark, improperly used collective or certification mark, mark disparages or falsely suggests a connection with persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or mark is used to misrepresent the source of goods.