TMEP 1208.03: Procedure Relating to Possibility of Interference

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1208.03    Procedure Relating to Possibility of Interference

Section 16 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1066, states that, upon petition showing extraordinary circumstances, the Director may declare that an interference exists when application is made for the registration of a mark that so resembles a mark previously registered by another, or for the registration of which another has previously applied, as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods or services of the applicant, to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive. No interference shall be declared between an application and a registration that has become incontestable. These cases are extremely rare and are generally limited to situations where a party would be unduly prejudiced without an interference, such as where it would otherwise be required to engage in a series of opposition or cancellation proceedings involving substantially the same issue. See TMEP §1208.03(b).

An interference will not be declared except upon petition to the Director. 37 C.F.R. §2.91(a). All petitions or requests for interference should be forwarded to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy for decision. The examining attorney does not make a determination on a request for interference.

See TBMP Chapter 1000.