The USPTO will put into effect on January 2, 2021 what is quite likely the largest trademark fee increase in US history. Many fees are going up, and several new fees have been created. These fee changes have been in the works for more than a year.

For my past public comments on these, please see earlier posts here:

I remain very concerned about the impact of these fee changes and increases on small businesses. But now that they are imminent, the most important thing that brand owners should know is: Filing new applications – or renewals if eligible – in December 2020 will save you money. For details on how to check if your trademark registration is eligible for renewal filing now, see my video here. For details on the changes, read on below.

USPTO Fees Set to Increase in January 2021

Time if of the essence if you are thinking about applying for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) not only to protect your brand and investment, but also to save some money before the new USPTO filing fees kick in. Recently, the USPTO enacted a Final Rule that increases numerous fees for applicants and registrants, including, trademark application filing fees, opposition and cancellation filing fees before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”), and post-registration fees for maintaining a trademark. The Final Rule is effective on January 2, 2021.

Prior to enacting the Final Rule, the USPTO allowed individuals, firms, agencies, organizations, and bar associations to submit comments about the proposed fee increases. Nevertheless, the USPTO decided to increase certain existing fees as well as require fees for actions and filings that were previously without cost. The USPTO claims that the increased and new fees are necessary to offset the cost of its trademark-related operations and enhance its IT system.

The tables below summarize the fee adjustments that will take effect on January 2, 2021.

Application and Application-Related Fees

Action Current Fee New Fee
TEAS Standard $275 $350
TEAS Plus $225 $250
Processing fee for failing to meet TEAS Plus requirements $125 $100

Post Registration  Fees

Action Current Fee New Fee
Section 8 or 71 declaration filed through TEAS $125 per class $225 per class
New fee for deleting goods, services, and/or classes from a registration after submitting a Section 8 or 71 declaration but before the declaration is accepted No fee $250 per class

*Registrants are encouraged to file a Section 7 request to amend the registration to delete goods, services, and/or classes in advance to avoid the large fee (Section 7 filings cost $100). This rule sets a $0 fee for a Section 7 request that is electronically filed prior to the submission of a Section 8 or Section 71 affidavit and that consists only of a request to delete specified goods, services, and/or classes. However, a fee will be required if goods, services, and/or classes are deleted in a section 7 request, a response to an Office action, or a voluntary amendment filed after submission, but prior to the acceptance, of a section 8 or section 71 affidavit.

Petition to the Director and Letter of Protest Fees

Action Current Fee New Fee
Petition to the Director $100 $250
Petition to Revive an Abandoned Application $100 $150
New Fee for Letter of Protest No fee $50 per application/mark

TTAB Fees for Electronic Filings

Action Current Fee New Fee
Petition to Cancel $400 per class $600 per class
Notice of Opposition $400 per class $600 per class
Initial 90-day Extension Request or Second 60-day Extension Request for Filing Notice of Opposition

*First 30-day Extension Request is still free

$100 per application $200 per application
Final 60-day Extension Request for Filing Notice of Opposition $200 per application $400 per application
Ex Parte Appeal $200 per class $225 per class
New Fee for Second, and Subsequent, Requests for an Extension of Time to File an Appeal Brief in an Ex Parte Appeal

*No fee for First Request

No fee $100 per application
New Fee for Appeal Briefs in Ex Parte Appeals No fee $200 per application
New Fee for Oral Hearings/Arguments No fee $500 per proceeding

Additional notes on TTAB fees: The USPTO is implementing partial refunds ($200 refund per class) for petitions to cancel in default judgments if the cancellation involves only a nonuse or abandonment claim, the defendant did not appear in the proceeding (i.e., the party did not file an answer to the petition), and there were no filings other than the petition to cancel. Refunds will be handled by TTAB paralegals, during the process of terminating cancellation proceedings. The petitioner will not have to request the refund. The refund will be processed in the same way that refunds currently are processed at the TTAB. Therefore, a filer who did not use a deposit account to pay the filing fee would not need to establish an account just for the purpose of receiving a refund.

The USPTO page detailing the changes can be found at: https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/updated-trademark-ttab-fees-processes

For more information or questions, or assistance with filings your trademark applications and maintenance documents, please contact Erik M. Pelton.


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One thought on “New USPTO trademark fees – increases – coming January 2, 2021

  1. Pingback: Important notice regarding USPTO trademark fee increases effective Jan. 2, 2021 | Erik M Pelton & Associates, PLLCErik M Pelton & Associates, PLLC

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