On May 8, 2023, the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) announced proposed trademark fee increases. The proposed fee increases are the result of lower revenue than previously forecasted and higher-than-expected inflation. Aggregate PTO operating costs are projected to exceed aggregate fee revenue beginning this fiscal year.
To encourage efficient application filing behaviors, enhance the quality of incoming applications and improve processing efficiencies, the PTO proposed a new single basic application filing fee with additional premium application surcharge fees based on the following actions an applicant can take (or avoid) when filing:
- Submitting incomplete applications (other than applications denied a filing date for failure to satisfy the requirements under 37 CFR § 2.21)
- Providing custom descriptions of goods and services in the free-form field instead of using the preapproved drop-down fields containing acceptable identifications of goods and services from the Trademark Next Generation ID Manual
- Providing excessively long identifications of goods or services when using the free-form field.
The PTO proposes a 12% fee increase per class for applications (paper submission) and a 40% fee increase per class for a basic application (formerly TEAS Plus). Proposed fee increases for intent-to-use (ITU) filings include 100% per class for an amendment to allege use (AAU), 50% per class for an AAU (paper submission), 50% per class for a statement of use (SOU) and 25% per class for an SOU (paper submission). The fee for a fourth and subsequent request for a six-month extension per class for filing an SOU would increase 100% and 56% per class for an SOU (paper submission).
Proposed fee increases for renewals include 17% per class for § 9 registration renewals, 10% per class (paper submission) and 17% for renewals filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The proposed fee increase for a Letter of Protest (LOP) would be 400%, and a petition to the director would increase 60% and 43% (paper submission). Petitions to revive an application would increase 67%, and petitions to revive (paper submission) would increase 40%.
Proposed fee increases for declarations of use include 33% per class for § 8 declarations and § 71 declarations, and 23% for paper submission. Section 15 declarations of incontestability would increase 25% per class and 17% per class (paper submission).
A hybrid public hearing is scheduled for June 5, 2023. Those wishing to present oral testimonies at the hearing must submit a written request by May 26, 2023. Written comments on the proposed fees will be accepted until June 12, 2023. The PTO anticipates that the fee changes will be implemented around November 2024.
For further details, including a complete list of the proposed fee increases, see the latest trademark fee setting information on the PTO website.