Effective January 14, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) adjusted a number of its trademark processing and service fees, including increasing fees for 42 different trademark filings. The trademark office, which is funded entirely through user fees (not taxpayer dollars) has stated generally that the fee increases will help defray administrative and operational costs and help upgrade its IT systems.

The good news for standard (electronic) trademark filers is that most new application fees have held steady or increased only modestly; however, fees for paper filers just went through the roof. Other notable changes apply to Ex Parte Appeals, Notices of Opposition, and Petitions for Cancellation.

The PTO has published a chart summarizing the fee changes. The following is a quick summary of noteworthy changes:

Applications — Paper Filings:

All fees for paper application filings have increased significantly. Filing fees for new applications filed on paper have skyrocketed to $600/Class (a $225 increase from the previous rate of $375/Class) — which should convince any hold-outs to utilize the electronic system.

Applications — Electronic Filings:

While fees for new applications using TEAS Plus and TEAS RF applications did not increase, fees for TEAS Regular applications are now $400/Class, a $75 increase from the prior rate. However, the fee to request a Six-Month Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use was actually reduced from $150/Class to $125/Class. Other processing fees have doubled to $200/Class, such as Petitions to the Director and Requests to Divide an Application. Section 8/71 affidavits have bumped to $25/Class.

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Filings:

Another area where trademark owners will feel the pinch is with Notices of Opposition, Petitions to Cancel, and Ex Parte Appeals. Requests for extensions of time to oppose an application, which used to be free, now carry a $100-$200 fee. Fees to initiate an ex parte appeal, new opposition, or cancellation proceeding have gone up $100/Class.

Please contact us if you have any questions as to how the new fee structure will impact your 2017 trademark budget.

This article appeared in the January 2017 issue of MarkIt to Market. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.