A trademark applicant or registrant may also become involved in different types of administrative proceedings before or after his or her trademark is registered. These proceedings include oppositions, cancellations, interferences and concurrent-use proceedings.

Oppositions and cancellations are like mini-trials that are held in the USPTO to determine whether an applicant or registrant is entitled to register his or her mark. The parties file pleadings, conduct discovery and file motions. However, there is no live testimony and there can be no award of monetary damages.

The primary difference between an opposition and a cancellation proceeding is that an opposition is conducted before the defendant’s mark is registered, while a cancellation proceeding is conducted after the defendant’s mark has been registered.

Interference proceedings involve a determination of priority for registration.

Concurrent-use proceedings are used to determine whether an applicant is entitled to use its mark in certain geographic regions concurrently with another’s registration.

Interference proceedings and concurrent-use proceedings are very rare.