The Importance of Conducting Post-Registration “Fraudits” of Trademark Registrations

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has ruled, precedentially, that the correction of a false statement regarding use of a trademark in commerce, if made before a registration has been challenged, creates a rebuttable presumption that the registrant did not intend to commit fraud. As background, a trademark applicant must file a statement with the Trademark Office alleging that the applicant’s mark is being used in interstate commerce with the specified goods and/or services identified in the trademark application before a trademark can be registered. Such statements are also required to be made post-registration as part of the renewal process of a trademark registration. In this particular case, the registrant corrected its registrations by omitting the unused items from the Section 8 Declaration. This encouraging decision from the TTAB makes it vitally important to continually review trademark registrations to ensure that each good or service named in the registration is being used in commerce and, if not, remove such items from the registration before the registration is challenged. Zanella Ltd. v. Nordstrom, Inc., Opposition No. 91177858 (TTAB 2008) [precedential].