On May 27, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to adjust trademark fees [Notice]. If all goes as planned, the fee adjustments will be effective in January 2017. Because many of the adjustments are fee increases, those planning to file an application for trademark registration may want to act sooner rather than later.
As you may know, the USPTO largely relies on self-funding to pay for trademark related operations. This means that ideally those who use the various services provided by the Trademark Office pay for those services. Because the overall goal is to achieve aggregate cost recovery, periodically, fees must be adjusted to match projected expenses. The USPTO summarizes the objectives for the rulemaking as: “(1) to better align fees with full costs; (2) to protect the integrity of the register; and (3) to promote the efficiency of the trademark process.”/ The adjustments will also affect some filing fees for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”).
Here are examples of fee increase proposals related to non-paper filings/:
- The fee to file an application through TEAS would increase from $325 to $400 per class.
- The fee to file an application through TEAS Plus or TEAS RF would remain the same, however, the processing fee for a failure to meet the requirements of either option would increase from $50 to $125 per class.
- The fee to file Section 8 affidavits concerning continued use of a mark would increase from $100 to $150 per class.
- The fee to file a 60-day request with the TTAB for an Extension of Time to File a Notice of Opposition would increase from $0 to $100.
- The fee to file a final 60-day request with the TTAB for an Extension of Time to File a Notice of Opposition would increase from $0 to $200.
Written and email comments to the proposed fee changes must be received by the USPTO on or before July 11, 2016.
 / 81 Federal Register 33621.
 / Fees to process paper filings would be increased substantially. Paper filings for initial registration applications in FY 2015, reflected only 0.4% of the total.