Summary of FY 2021 Final Trademark Fee Rule
Final Rule: Trademark Fee Adjustment
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is setting and adjusting Trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) fees for the first time in nearly three years through its Final Rul, effective January 2, 2021. This represents the end of a multi-year review and adjustment process.
Why the USPTO is changing our Trademark and TTAB fees
Consistent with federal fee-setting standards, in December 2018, the USPTO began its biennial review of fees, costs, and revenues, and found that fee adjustments were necessary to address increasing costs and to provide necessary resources for Trademark operations, including implementing the USPTO 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
In August 2019, the USPTO published a Federal Register noticeto announce plans to exercise its fee-setting authority to set or adjust Trademark fees. In September 2019, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) held a public hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, inviting members of the public to submit written and/or oral comments on fee adjustments. The TPAC considered the public comments from this hearing, which were made available on the USPTO website. On October 31, 2019, the TPAC provided a written report setting forth the comments, advice, and recommendations of the public and the committee regarding the proposed fees.
The overall strategy of the Final Rule is to balance a reasonable and affordable fee schedule with sufficient multi-year revenue to recover the aggregate costs of maintaining the USPTO’s trademark-related operations and accomplishing the USPTO’s trademark-related strategic goals.
The Final Rule enables the USPTO to continue to enhance the quality of trademark examination, achieve optimal examination times, invest in modernizing trademark information technology systems and infrastructure, and provide stability to USPTO operations, even in times of financial fluctuations.
The USPTO is implementing partial refunds for petitions to cancel in default judgments if the cancellation involves only a nonuse or abandonment claim, the defendant didn’t appear, and there were no filings other than the petition to cancel.
Paper filing fee changes
Fees for certain Trademark and TTAB filings that are permitted to be submitted on paper will increase to help offset their higher processing costs. See the Final Rule for these changes.
Letter of protest procedures codified
In addition to adjusting fees, we’re codifying the procedures for letters of protest. These procedures include modifications to our current practice in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure §§ 1715-1715.06 that encourage appropriate submissions to help us determine whether the submitted evidence supports a ground for refusal. These procedures will be effective January 2, 2021.
These requirements encourage the filing of timely, relevant, and well-supported letters of protest, which ultimately strengthen the integrity of the register.
Why we’re implementing a fee for certain requests to delete goods and services from a registration
We’ll charge a fee if a request to delete goods, services, or classes from a registration is filed after a section 8 or section 71 declaration is filed but before it’s accepted. We won’t charge a fee if the request is filed before a section 8 or section 71 declaration is filed. If the section 8 or section 71 declaration doesn’t specify all of the goods, services, or classes listed in the registration, we won’t charge an additional fee—you’ll only pay the filing fee for the section 8 or section 71 declaration. In this situation, all of the goods, services, or classes not included in the declaration would be deleted from the registration.
Charging this fee for deletions made between the filing and acceptance of the section 8 or section 71 declaration will improve the integrity of the register by encouraging registrants to:
Determine sooner the goods, services, or classes in the registration for which their registered trademark is no longer in use.
Delete those goods, services, or classes from the registration before filing or within their section 8 or 71 declaration.
More quickly comply with statutory requirements regarding claims of use.
You can delete goods or services at any time by filing a section 7 request. The sooner we’re notified about nonuse of a trademark for goods or services, the sooner we can update the registration. This will help ensure everyone is accessing the most accurate and up-to-date information about registered trademarks when they search the trademark register.