3PMC, LLC v. Huggins

In a precedential decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board stated that it “shall not take cognizance of fractions of a day” and ruled that documents filed on the same day are assumed to be filed at the same time. 3PMC, LLC v. Huggins, Case No. 91219982 (TTAB, July 24, 2015) (Richey, ALJ.).

A trademark applicant expressly abandoned its application through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s TEAS electronic filing system on the same day the application was opposed through the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s TTABVUE electronic system. Even though the applicant pointed to timestamps of the parties’ respective filings to argue that the express abandonment preceded the opposition filing, the Board nevertheless reasoned that “with multiple electronic filing systems that operate and update differently, it is not always possible to establish temporal sequence with certainty.” The Board also acknowledged that computer systems and networks have technological limitations.

Therefore, the Board held that a day is an indivisible period of time for establishing a procedural sequence of events and stated that it “will assume that an opposition and an express abandonment, filed the same day, were filed at the same instant.”