Thursday, April 06, 2006

TTAB Denies Motion to Revoke Stoller Extension of Time

The Board has denied an applicant's Motion to Revoke a 90-day extension of time to oppose granted to Leo Stoller on February 14, 2006. Applicant American Republic Brands, LLC seeks to register the mark SWISH for oral care preparations and medicated oral care products (Application Serial No. 76628334). The mark was published for opposition on January 17, 2006. Sentra Industries, Inc. then requested and obtained a 90-day extension of time to oppose.

On or about March 6, 2006, American Republic filed its Motion to Revoke Grant of Extension of Time. It contended that "Sentra did not have good cause to file the Extension Request or to seek an extension of time to file an opposition because it has no grounds to file an opposition." American pointed out that Leo Stoller, through Sentra and Central Mfg. Co. (the "Stoller Affiliates"), "has filed approximately 400-500 Requests for Extension of Time to File Oppositions since January 1, 2006." American's search of the PTO records revealed that Sentra owns no pending applications or registrations.

"A reasonable inference can be drawn from the volume of Extension Requests filed by the Stoller Affiliates coupled with the fact that Sentra owns no pending federal trademark applications or federal trademark registrations is that Mr. Stoller has absolutely no basis for filing the Extension Request and that he is perverting and abusing the administrative process of the USPTO by delaying registration of the Mark with the hope that Applicant will pay to have Sentra abandon its Extension Request rather than wait ninety or one hundred eighty days to complete registration."

American Republic also pointed to the Chicago federal court's decision in Central Mfg. Co. v. Pure Fishing, Inc., 2005 WL 3090988 (N.D. Ill.), in which the court "took extensive judicial notice of Mr. Stoller's pattern of abuse of the judicial and administrative process."

On March 17, 2006, the Board (through a Legal Assistant) issued a terse "order," reiterating the grant of Sentra's request for extension of time to May 17, 2006 and denying the Motion, stating the following:

"The Board will grant any opposer's request for good cause when the opposer states, 'Potential opposer needs additional time to investigate this claim.' Applicant's request for Motion to Revoke Grant of Extension of Time is hereby denied."

TTABlog comment: Apparently, Mr. Stoller is doing a lot of investigating these days. His total of extension requests since November 1, 2005 is now approaching 1,500.

My suggestion: Allow one 30-day extension for free. After that, any unconsented extension request would cost $100, creditable against the opposition filing fee if an opposition is filed. (My friend Ann would call this the "Stoller surcharge.")

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2006.


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