Trademark Opposition Cost: Can a precise estimate fit all TTAB cases?
Before we discuss cost factors, recognize that a precise trademark opposition cost is both unrealistic and unhelpful in most cases. You can think of a TTAB trademark opposition as a mini-litigation between the opposer and the trademark applicant. So the cost of litigation will depend upon how far both sides are willing to go to fight for their trademark rights.
Lower End of Cost Range: $3,000 to $15,000
An early resolution is the most effective way to reduce the cost of a trademark opposition. The earlier, the better. If you are the trademark applicant (i.e., defendant), consider settlement options, counterclaims and any potentially dispositive motions. An experienced trademark attorney can help you determine whether the opposer would be open to settlement and if a suspension or extension should be filed.
Perhaps your trademark application is blocking the other side’s application, and they want you to agree that there is no likelihood of confusion between the respective marks.
Does the opposer have some vulnerabilities that should be attacked? Filing counterclaims may provide you with leverage for an earlier resolution.
Under the right circumstances, a motion to dismiss might make sense. More experienced trademark attorneys understand that it is difficult to prevail on a motion to dismiss, so only the right set of facts would warrant such an investment.
Higher End of Cost Range: $15,000+
Sometimes both parties are unwilling to compromise. In that case, you should expect that the trademark opposition proceeding will advance beyond the initial stage to the discovery phase.
Discovery may involve the following:
- written questions called interrogatories;
- document requests called requests for production of documents and things;
- written requests for admissions (RFA); and/or
- depositions of key persons.
Costs will start to add up as you respond to these discovery requests and send your own requests requiring the other side to reply.
How to Avoid a Trademark Opposition Trial
After a sufficient amount of discovery has occurred, you might have the option to get the Board to decide your case without having to go through a TTAB trial. Consider whether it would make sense to file a motion for summary judgment to get a Board decision that would end the case sooner.
Filing a summary judgment motion is not cheap though. Expect to spend $10,000 to $25,000 to file or defend a TTAB motion for summary judgment.
Do you need to defend a trademark opposition?
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