Wednesday, June 08, 2016

TTAB Grants Cancellation Petition As a Sanction For Failure to Participate in Discovery Conference

The Board granted a petition for cancellation of a registration for the mark JINHAO for ball-point pens and related products, because respondent failed to participate in the required Rule 2.120 conference. Shanghai QianGu Stationery Co. Ltd. v. EachBit Trade LLC, Cancellation No. 92062453 (June 6, 2016) [not precedential].

On May 5, 2015, the Board issued an Order granting Petitioner's motion to compel Respondent to participate in the discovery conference required by Rule 2.120(a)(2). The Board warned Respondent that it might be subject to sanctions if it failed to comply. See Rule 2.120(g)(1) and FRCP 37(b)(2)

On May 24, the interlocutory attorney emailed the parties, inquiring as to their availability for the discovery conference. Petitioner's counsel promptly responded, but Respondent did not. The interloc then sent an email to the parties setting the conference for May 31st at 1pm.

Petitioner's counsel called into the conference, but Respondent did not. The interloc then called Respondent, using the telephone number of record. Respondent did not answer; the call was directed to a voice mail system. The interloc left Respondent a voice mail message indicating that the Board was attempting to reach Respondent in order to hold the discovery conference, and requesting that Respondent contact the interloc as soon as the message was received.

The interloc waited twelve (12) minutes for Respondent to join the telephone conference, but Respondent "did not call in or otherwise attempt to contact the assigned Interlocutory Attorney. Accordingly, the assigned Interlocutory Attorney terminated the teleconference."

The Board therefore entered judgment as a sanction for failing to participate in the discovery conference. It granted the petition for cancellation and order the registration to be cancelled.

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlog comment: Reminiscent of the Patagonia v. Azzolini case, TTABlogged here.  

TTABlog Tip: when dealing with Interlocutory Attorneys, don't be an Azzolini.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2016.


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