USPTO Reduces Electronic Trademark Filing Fees Effective January 2015

This week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) gave some good news to trademark owners. Effective January 17, 2015, the PTO will reduce filing fees for electronic trademark applications and renewals.

Electronic trademark filings are made pursuant to the PTO’s online platform called the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). TEAS offers two options for filing trademark applications: a regular TEAS application and a TEAS Plus application. TEAS Plus applications require more information from the applicant, and are therefore less expensive because they involve lower costs of examination.

The PTO has reduced TEAS Plus application fees from $275 per class to $225. Additionally, it has reduced fees for regular TEAS filings from $325 per class to $275, provided applicants agree to file all responses and required documents electronically during the application process. This new option is referred to as the TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) application. TEAS renewal fees for registrations will also decrease from $400 per class to $300.

These measures are designed to increase efficiency by encouraging electronic filings and enhancing the appeal of the TEAS Plus application. During its rulemaking process, the USPTO solicited public comments on its proposed rules. Many of the comments received reiterated the need for reduced filing fees to ease the financial burden on small businesses and individuals, and to boost trademark filings generally.

In light of these reductions, clients contemplating large filing programs in the near future, or who have renewals due during the next few months, may wish to wait until after the reduced fees go into effect on January 17, 2015. A copy of the complete PTO final rule on the reduced fees in the Federal Register is available online.