USPTO Seeks Comment on Possibility of Lowering
Most Trademark Application Fees
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August 16, 2012
CONTACT: (Media Only)
Patrick Ross or Eric Atkisson
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Press Release, 12-52
Seeks Comment on Possibility of Lowering Most Trademark Application Fees
Office Seeks Incentives for Full
Digital Filing and Communications
Washington - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking public comment on the possibility of adjusting trademark application fees, so
as to lower the fees for all applicants willing to file and communicate electronically with the USPTO. The
efficiencies achieved by trademark electronic filing and communications have put the USPTO in a position to
potentially reduce the overall collection of trademark application fees, and the Office wishes to adjust the fees
in a way that further promotes efficiency both for users and the USPTO. A Notice of Inquiry has been published in
the Federal Register.
The USPTO is considering encouraging complete electronic communications by reducing
the TEAS Plus filing fee, which currently stands at $275 per class. TEAS Plus is the least expensive application
option, and requires electronic communication as well as a complete application and pre-approved identification of
goods/services upon filing.
The Office also is considering providing a discount on applications filed using
the regular TEAS form, which is $325 per class, assuming the applicant agrees to continue filing and communicating
electronically throughout the process. Parties wishing to use TEAS without totally electronic communication would
continue to pay the current per class fee of $325. Comments are also being sought on the possibility of increasing
fees on applications based on paper, currently only 1% of trademark applications, given that these applications
are more costly and burdensome for the USPTO to process.
While 99% of applicants file under TEAS or TEAS
Plus, only 76% of applications remain fully electronic throughout the entire process. To increase efficiency, the
USPTO is looking to incentivize end-to-end electronic processing.
The USPTO wishes to learn what rates
users believe would be appropriate for the existing methods of filing trademark applications—TEAS, TEAS Plus, and
paper—as well as what new level of discount would encourage a TEAS applicant to authorize e-mail communication and
file all responses and other documents electronically throughout the application. The Office also seeks to learn
to what extent fee changes would encourage use of TEAS Plus as opposed to a discounted TEAS application with less
burdensome requirements. All comments are welcome on these and other questions.
Should the USPTO decide to
propose a change in fees, the Office will provide further opportunity for public comment with a Notice of Proposed
The Federal Register publication--Notice of Inquiry Regarding Adjustment of Fees for Trademark Applications—can be
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-16/html/2012-20127.htm. The USPTO prefers comments be submitted via
electronic mail message to TMFRNotices@uspto.gov. Responses are due by
Oct. 15, 2012.
For non-press inquiries, contact Cynthia C. Lynch, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for
Trademark Examination Policy, at 571-272-8742.
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