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Cancellation is a decision by the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board to void a trademark registration. Valid grounds to cancel a registration include:

  • abandonment;
  • prior use by the applicant; or
  • the mark is descriptive or generic.

After a Section 15 Declaration has been filed and a registration becomes incontestable, cancellation actions cannot be brought based on descriptiveness or prior use. A cancellation proceeding based on the mark being generic or abandoned can be filed even after a registration becomes incontestable. Any use, including local use by the petitioner before the filing date, will defeat the registration.

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