Cancellation is a decision by the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board to void a trademark registration. Valid grounds to cancel a registration include:
- prior use by the applicant; or
- the mark is descriptive or generic.
After a Section 15 Declaration has been filed and a registration becomes incontestable, cancellation actions cannot be brought based on descriptiveness or prior use. A cancellation proceeding based on the mark being generic or abandoned can be filed even after a registration becomes incontestable. Any use, including local use by the petitioner before the filing date, will defeat the registration.