At times, two different entities will simultaneously use the same mark in commerce. Typically, each entity adopts the marks without knowledge of the other party. Particularly when the entities exist in different geographic areas, little likelihood of confusion exists between such entities. As such, concurrent use exists between the entities.
In such a situation, one party can file a concurrent use proceeding through the Trademark Office. A trademark applicant must first apply for a trademark registration alleging prior use in commerce, and subsequently request a concurrent use registration. During the proceeding, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board determines whether each user may own a trademark registration. Typically, the Board restricts the registrations based on geographic regions.