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USPTO Raising Trademark Fees for the New Year.

By Tuong Pham

The Final Rule “Trademark Fee Adjustment,” promulgated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will become effective on January 2, 2021.[1] The Final Rule sets or adjusts 36 trademark fees including increased filing fees and 14 brand-new fees as well. The USPTO published the Federal Register notice in August 2019.

The Trademark Public Advisory Committee held a public hearing on September 2019 and provided the written report on October 31, 2019. The USPTO published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on June 19, 2020, detailing the new trademark fees.

              The decision was made after considerations of the current U.S economy, operational agency needs, and comments and advice from the public. The USPTO hopes the new fees will provide funds for maintenance and upgrades to its systems and provide an operating reserve in case of financial disruptions.

              All the fee changes may be found in the Final Rule.[2] The table below details some of the major changes.

Application fees have gone up across the board. TEAS Standard application fees have gone from $275 per class to $350 per class. TEA Plus application fees have gone from $225 per class to $250 per class. Fees have also increased for TTAB cancellations and oppositions, as well as TTAB trial and appeals. The increased fees will better align the fees with the associated cost for the USPTO.

The new fees include a $250 fee per class filed through TEAS for deleting goods, services, and/or classes from a registration after submitting a §8 or §71 declaration, but before the declaration is accepted. The USPTO hopes the deletion fees will encourage registrants to determine and delete goods, services, or classes no longer in use sooner.  

              Additionally, the Final Rule codifies procedures for letters of protest. Requirements include providing an itemized evidence index, submitting no more than 10 items of evidence or 75 total pages, absent special circumstances, and paying a $50 fee per letter of protest. The purpose of these procedures is to encourage the filing of timely, relevant, and well-supported letters of protest.

              Originally, the Final Rule was planned to go into effect in August 2020, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the implementation will be on January 2, 2021. Potential registrants still have time to file to avoid having to pay increased fees.

[1] Federal Register 37 CFR Part 2 and 7 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-11-17/pdf/2020-25222.pdf

[2] Id.