The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) is setting or adjusting certain trademark fees, as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act). The changes will allow the USPTO to continue to recover the prospective aggregate costs of strategic and operational trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) goals (based on workload projections included in the USPTO fiscal year (FY) 2021 Congressional Justification), including associated administrative costs. They will also further USPTO strategic objectives by better aligning fees with costs, protecting the integrity of the trademark register, improving the efficiency of agency processes, and ensuring financial sustainability to facilitate effective trademark operations. USPTO has weighed carefully current economic conditions and the potential hardship that the fee increase could create for businesses and individuals. The Office paused development of the fee rule because of uncertainty about the economy earlier this year. The latest economic data point to continued recovery in many sectors of the economy. Because of this and the relatively small annual cost to businesses and individuals from USPTO’s trademark applications and maintenance fees, the Office has decided to finalize the fee rule for implementation in January 2021. See Final Rule.
New Trademark Application Fees
Effective January 2, 2021, the Trademark Electronic Application System Standard (TEAS Standard) Application cost will increase by 75 USD (275 USD to 350 USD) per class, whereas the TEAS Plus Application cost will increase only by 25 USD (225 USD to 250 USD) per class.
Important Note: The applicant’s TEAS Plus Application fee per class of 250 USD combined with the TEAS Plus penalty fee of 100 USD per class equals the new TEAS Standard Application filing fee of 350 USD. Accordingly, even if the applicant goes out of bounds with its TEAS Plus filing, the applicant’s cost will be no different than the newly minted TEAS Standard Application fee, and hence there is an incentive to aim for the TEAS Plus Application if possible.
Post Registration Trademark Fees
- Petition to Cancel a Trademark Filed Through ESTAA = 600 USD per class (up from 400 USD per class)
- Notice of Opposition to a Trademark Application Filed Through ESTAA = 600 USD per class (up from 400 USD per class)
- Initial 90 day Extension Requests for Filing Notice of Opposition = 200 USD per application (up from 100 USD per application)
- Final 60 day Extension Request for Filing Notice of Opposition = 400 USD per application (up from 200 USD)
- 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 USD per application
- New Fee – For appeal briefs in an ex parte appeal filed through ESTTA = 200 USD per class
- New Fee – For requests for oral hearings: $500 per proceeding
Trademark Registration Maintenance Fees
Trademark Registration Maintenance Fees also are seeing an increase on January 2, 2021. For example, the Section 8 or 71 Declaration is increasing 100 USD per class (125 USD to 225 USD). If trademark registrations are within the one-year window to file the Section 8 or 71 Declarations and sufficient specimens of use are available, it is less costly to file before January 2, 2021. The USPTO also has implemented a new fee for deleting goods or services or classes after the Section 8 or 71 Declaration has been filed: 250 USD per class. This new fee is presumably intended to deter late amendments and encourage registrants to consider any changes to the registrations before the Section 8 or 71 Declarations have been submitted.