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TTAB Clarifies Requirements for Consent Agreements

Published in Managing Intellectual Property
Article | January 23, 2019

This article examines the recent precedential opinion issued by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in In re American Cruise Lines, Inc. regarding the necessary provisions for an acceptable consent to registration. The US Patent and Trademark Office had refused to register American Cruise Lines, Inc.'s trademark application for the AMERICAN CONSTELLATION mark, finding that the consent agreements submitted by American Cruise Lines were insufficient. 

American Cruise Lines appealed the decision to the TTAB which overturned the refusal, holding that "while the inclusion of provisions to avoid any potential confusion are preferred and probative in consent agreements, they are not mandatory." This decision confirms that the TTAB will give deference to contracting parties in a consent agreement and that those parties do not necessarily need to include provisions about taking steps to avoid confusion in order for the consent to be accepted.

Read "TTAB Clarifies Requirements for Consent Agreements" in its entirety.

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