• Oppositions are administrative proceedings where testimony and arguments are submitted to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board for determination. Typically, the basis for an opposition is the third partys prior rights in either a registered or unregistered mark, and the likelihood of confusion and/or dilution should the application proceed to registration.
    Most oppositions are settled early on. If they are not, there is a specific schedule of events that need to be adhered to in order to successfully defend or prosecute the opposition.
    Like regular court litigation, there is the discovery phase, where each side can obtain discovery through the conventional ways, such as:
    Requesting documents or things
    Asking written questions
    Asking for specific admissions of facts
    Taking a deposition
    After the discovery phase, there is the testimony phase, where each party asks questions and elicits answers to put the facts of the case into the record. First the plaintiff goes, then the defendant, and the plaintiff then gets a reply period. This is just like as if you were in court and testifying, except that it is done in lawyers offices before a court reporter.
    After the testimony phase, there is a briefing phase, where each party gets to submit its briefs applying the law to the facts as elicited in the testimony phase. First the plaintiff, then the defendant, and then the plaintiff gets the last word by filing a reply brief.
    Oral argument is available, but it is discretionary, and not many cases are argued.