Final Rule: Trademark Fee Adjustment
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is setting and adjusting Trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) fees for the first time in nearly three years through its Final Rule, effective January 2, 2021. This represents the end of a multi-year review and adjustment process.
Why the USPTO is changing our Trademark and TTAB fees
Consistent with federal fee-setting standards, in December 2018, the USPTO began its biennial review of fees, costs, and revenues, and found that fee adjustments were necessary to address increasing costs and to provide necessary resources for Trademark operations, including implementing the USPTO 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
In August 2019, the USPTO published a Federal Register notice to announce plans to exercise its fee-setting authority to set or adjust Trademark fees. In September 2019, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) held a public hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, inviting members of the public to submit written and/or oral comments on fee adjustments. The TPAC considered the public comments from this hearing, which were made available on the USPTO website. On October 31, 2019, the TPAC provided a written report setting forth the comments, advice, and recommendations of the public and the committee regarding the proposed fees.
The USPTO considered and analyzed all comments, advice, and recommendations received from the TPAC and then, on June 19, 2020, published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding setting and adjusting Trademark fees. The USPTO received and considered comments from the public. Responses to the comments are included in the Final Rule.
More recently, the USPTO also considered the state of the U.S. economy, the operational needs of the agency, and the comments and advice received from the public in determining when to implement the Final Rule. The USPTO made adjustments based on all of these considerations, consistent with the USPTO’s many other efforts to provide various types of relief to stakeholders, including certain deadline extensions and fee waivers. Ultimately, the goal of the USPTO is to ensure not only that businesses and entrepreneurs can weather the economic downturn, but also that they can hit the ground running as it passes.
The overall strategy of the Final Rule is to balance a reasonable and affordable fee schedule with sufficient multi-year revenue to recover the aggregate costs of maintaining the USPTO’s trademark-related operations and accomplishing the USPTO’s trademark-related strategic goals.
The Final Rule enables the USPTO to continue to enhance the quality of trademark examination, achieve optimal examination times, invest in modernizing trademark information technology systems and infrastructure, and provide stability to USPTO operations, even in times of financial fluctuations.
The main changes are shown below. See the Final Rule for all changes.
Application and application-related fees
- TEAS Standard: $350 per class
Up from $275 per class
- TEAS Plus: $250 per class
Up from $225 per class
- Processing fee for failing to meet TEAS Plus requirements: $100 per class
Down from $125 per class
Post registration fees
- Section 8 or 71 declaration filed through TEAS: $225 per class
Up from $125 per class
- New fee for deleting goods, services, and/or classes from a registration after submitting a section 8 or 71 declaration, but before the declaration is accepted: $250 per class if filed through TEAS
- There will be no fee if you electronically file a section 7 request to amend your registration before submitting a section 8 or 71 declaration and only delete goods, services, and/or classes in the request (otherwise, the current fee for filing a section 7 request through TEAS is $100). Read below about why we’re implementing a fee for certain requests to delete goods, services, and/or classes.
Petition to the Director and letter of protest fees
- Petition to the Director filed through TEAS: $250
Up from $100
- Petition to revive an abandoned application filed through TEAS: $150
Up from $100
- New fee for letter of protest: $50 per application
- Petition to cancel filed through ESTTA: $600 per class
Up from $400 per class
- Notice of opposition filed through ESTTA: $600 per class
Up from $400 per class
- Initial 90-day extension requests for filing a notice of opposition, or second 60-day extension requests for filing a notice of opposition, filed through ESTTA: $200 per application
Up from $100 per application
- There is still no fee for a first 30-day extension request for filing a notice of opposition, filed through ESTTA.
- Final 60-day extension request for filing a notice of opposition, filed through ESTTA: $400 per application
Up from $200 per application
- Ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA: $225 per class
Up from $200 per class
- New fee for second, and subsequent, requests for an extension of time to file an appeal brief in an ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA: $100 per application
- There is still no fee for a first request.
- New fee for appeal briefs in an ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA: $200 per class
- New fee for requests for oral hearings: $500 per proceeding
The USPTO is implementing partial refunds for petitions to cancel in default judgments if the cancellation involves only a nonuse or abandonment claim, the defendant didn’t appear, and there were no filings other than the petition to cancel.
Paper filing fee changes
Fees for certain Trademark and TTAB filings that are permitted to be submitted on paper will increase to help offset their higher processing costs. See the Final Rule for these changes.
Letter of protest procedures codified
In addition to adjusting fees, we’re codifying the procedures for letters of protest. These procedures include modifications to our current practice in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure §§ 1715-1715.06 that encourage appropriate submissions to help us determine whether the submitted evidence supports a ground for refusal. These procedures will be effective January 2, 2021.
Some of the requirements state that you must:
- Provide an itemized evidence index.
- Submit no more than 10 items of evidence or 75 total pages, absent special circumstances.
- Pay a $50 fee per letter of protest. The fee will help us to recover a portion of our processing costs without placing an undue burden on third-party filers.
These requirements encourage the filing of timely, relevant, and well-supported letters of protest, which ultimately strengthen the integrity of the register.
We’ll charge a fee if a request to delete goods, services, or classes from a registration is filed after a section 8 or section 71 declaration is filed but before it’s accepted. We won’t charge a fee if the request is filed before a section 8 or section 71 declaration is filed. If the section 8 or section 71 declaration doesn’t specify all of the goods, services, or classes listed in the registration, we won’t charge an additional fee—you’ll only pay the filing fee for the section 8 or section 71 declaration. In this situation, all of the goods, services, or classes not included in the declaration would be deleted from the registration.
Charging this fee for deletions made between the filing and acceptance of the section 8 or section 71 declaration will improve the integrity of the register by encouraging registrants to:
- Determine sooner the goods, services, or classes in the registration for which their registered trademark is no longer in use.
- Delete those goods, services, or classes from the registration before filing or within their section 8 or 71 declaration.
- More quickly comply with statutory requirements regarding claims of use.
You can delete goods or services at any time by filing a section 7 request. The sooner we’re notified about nonuse of a trademark for goods or services, the sooner we can update the registration. This will help ensure everyone is accessing the most accurate and up-to-date information about registered trademarks when they search the trademark register.
Contact TMPolicy@uspto.gov with questions.