Did you know that a U.S. trademark registration can be audited by the USPTO? Yes, the USPTO conducts random audits of approximately 10% of maintenance and renewal declarations. The audits apply to filings of both regular U.S. trademark registrations and Madrid Protocol International registrations to require additional proof of use of two items of goods or services specifically selected by the USPTO.
In the USA, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decides contested cases for registration and cancellation of federally registered trademarks. For trial cases, the average time between filing and decision is 36 months. This article is an illustration of one of the author's cases that reached a trial decision in 15 months from filing using the Board's Accelerated Case Resolution Procedure ("ACR") in an issue of priority of use of a mark. ACR is not adapted for all cases, but this article will suggest guidelines for which cases fit ACR treatment.