July 2020

Ian Boyd comments in “TTAB Lawyers: Read the Rules and Give Us More Precedent” for Managing IP


TTAB chief judge Gerard Rogers and six private practice lawyers debate whether – and how quickly – the board should issue more precedential decisions

More precedential decisions, faster proceedings, and opposing counsel who actually read the rules would help Trademark Trial and Appeal Board practitioners better navigate the board, according to six private practice lawyers…

Because clients spend so much time on TTAB proceedings, they often ask their lawyers to predict a likely outcome. Ian Boyd, partner at Sideman & Bancroft in San Francisco, points out that making these predictions is harder when there is a lack of precedential opinions.

“It’s a fairly well-known and longstanding gripe for practitioners, who want more precedential opinions. It’s not a new complaint, and I do fully agree with it,” he say…

Boyd at Sideman & Bancroft says the board has been more responsive lately to motions and notices of suspension. In some cases, this responsiveness might motivate him to pursue a matter at the TTAB rather than take it to a district court. He explains that under certain circumstances, he and his clients will discuss whether they should suspend a TTAB proceeding or see it through. “Time is always an essential consideration,” he says.

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