Are monetary sanctions available in TTAB trademark proceedings?

No, monetary sanctions are not available in TTAB trademark oppositions and cancellations. TBMP Section 502.05 states:

The Board will not hold any person in contempt, or award attorneys’ fees, other expenses, or damages to any party.

What are non-monetary TTAB Sanctions?

The Board may enter the following sanctions where appropriate:

  • striking all or part of the pleadings of the disobedient party;
  • refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses;
  • prohibiting the disobedient party from introducing designated matters in evidence;
  • entering judgment against the disobedient party.

Does it make sense to defend a trademark opposition?

If a third party has opposed your trademark application, it might make sense to defend the opposition instead of fighting a lawsuit in court. Since no money damages may be imposed by the TTAB, each party has zero risk of being hit with monetary sanctions. Defending a trademark opposition may be substantially less expensive than litigating in court. Here are helpful tips on how to defend a trademark opposition.

How do you defend a trademark opposition without the threat of monetary sanctions?

The threat of monetary sanctions is like a sword that can be wielded at the right time. Without such a threat, you have both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, no party has to worry about paying attorney’s fees or any kind of monies to other side unless agreed to in settlement. On the other hand, a party can continue with obstructive behavior without fear of any monetary penalties. Each party in a trademark opposition or cancellation will need to weigh these factors in developing an appropriate trademark strategy.

Need help defending a trademark opposition?

Feel free to email trademark opposition attorney Vic Lin at or call (949) 223-9623 to see how we can help you reach a desired outcome for your trademark application.

The following two tabs change content below.

Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney, Cofounder at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys help innovators get IP that drives funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 |

Latest posts by Vic Lin (see all)