The Director shall, for each good or service identified under subsection (c)(2), determine whether the petition sets forth a prima facie case of the mark having not been in use in commerce on or in connection with each such good or service, institute an ex parte reexamination proceeding for each good or service for which the Director determines that the prima facie case has been set forth, and provide a notice to the registrant and petitioner of the determination of whether or not the proceeding was instituted. Such notice shall include a copy of the petition and any supporting documents and evidence that were included with the petition.
The Director shall promulgate regulations regarding what constitutes a reasonable investigation under subsection (c)(3) and the general types of evidence that could support a prima facie case that the mark was not in use in commerce on or in connection with a good or service on or before the relevant date, but the Director shall retain discretion to determine whether a prima facie case is set out in a particular proceeding.
Any determination by the Director whether or not to institute a reexamination proceeding under this section shall be final and non-reviewable, and shall not prejudice any party’s right to raise any issue and rely on any evidence in any other proceeding, except as provided in subsection (j).
For each good or service for which it is determined that the registration should not have issued because the mark was not in use in commerce on or before the relevant date, the examiner shall find that the registration should be cancelled for each such good or service. Unless overturned on review of the examiner’s decision, the Director shall issue an order cancelling the registration, in whole or in part, after the time for appeal has expired or any appeal proceeding has terminated.
The Director may, on the Director’s own initiative, institute an ex parte reexamination proceeding if the Director discovers information that supports a prima facie case of the mark having not been used in commerce on or in connection with some or all of the goods or services covered by the registration on or before the relevant date. The Director shall promptly notify the registrant of such determination, at which time reexamination shall proceed according to the same procedures established pursuant to subsection (e). If the Director determines, based on the Director’s own initiative, to institute an ex parte reexamination proceeding, the Director shall transmit or make available the information that formed the basis for that determination as part of the institution notice.
A petition for ex parte reexamination may be filed, or the Director may institute on the Director’s own initiative an ex parte reexamination proceeding, at any time not later than 5 years after the date of registration of a mark registered based on use in commerce.
With respect to a particular registration, while an ex parte reexamination proceeding is pending, no later ex parte reexamination proceeding may be instituted with respect to the same goods or services that are the subject of a pending ex parte reexamination proceeding.
With respect to a particular registration, for any goods or services previously subject to an instituted ex parte reexamination proceeding for which, in that proceeding, it was determined that the registrant had used the mark for particular goods or services before the relevant date, and the registration was not cancelled as to those goods or services, no further ex parte reexamination proceedings may be initiated as to those goods or services, regardless of the identity of the petitioner.