(162)                       Late-Filed Renewal Fees

   Sections 9 and 31 of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C.      1095 and 1113) 
require that an additional five dollar ($5.00) fee be submitted by a 
registrant who files a renewal application during the three-month period 
following expiration of its registration. The language of the statute 
requires that this additional fee be submitted within the three-month 
grace period. A number of registrants who have failed to submit the 
additional fee within the prescribed period have petitioned the 
Commissioner to allow their renewal applications. The Commissioner has 
granted petitions of this kind where the registrant or its attorney 
maintained a Patent and Trademark Office deposit account which contained,
on the date the renewal application was filed, sufficient funds to cover 
the additional fee. Specifically, the Commissioner has exercised 
discretion under Trademark Rules 2.146(a)(3) and 2.147 to deem the 
authorizations to charge the deposit accounts to have taken place at the 
time the registrants filed their renewal applications, even though the 
authorizations were not confirmed until a later date. This Office 
policy was established by the Commissioner's decision in In re Ralston 
Purina Co., 191 USPQ154 (Comr. Pats. 1976). 
   The policy established by the Ralston Purina decision is being
changed. Henceforth, the Commissioner will no longer exercise discretion
to charge deposit accounts nunc pro tunc for trademark renewal
application fees. To allow an authorization to charge a deposit account
to relate back to a date on which no actual authorization existed is, in
effect, to allow late payment. It is inequitable to permit those
registrants who have deposit accounts (or those whose attorneys have
such accounts) to make late payment of renewal fees, while those without
deposit accounts may not.
   Petitions relying on Ralston Purina will, after the date of this
notice, be denied, unless the events that gave rise to those petitions
occurred before publication of this notice.

Feb. 20, 1981                                         MARGARET M. LAURENCE
                                                    Assistant Commissioner
                                                            for Trademarks

                                [1004 TMOG 29]