If you have been considering federal trademark registration for your brand, acting now may be better than kicking the can into 2021. The USPTO officially published its plans to increase and add fees for trademark registration beginning on January 2, 2021, via Final Rule dated 11/17/2020.
The Rule increases fees for all filing types, some existing fees increasing by as much as $150. In addition, the Rule imposes six new filing fees including a $250 per class fee for deleting goods, services, and/or classes from an application after submission but prior to acceptance, $50 letter of protest fee, and a $500 fee for an oral hearing request.
Many are unhappy with the USPTO’s decision to increase revenue at the expense of entrepreneurs in a time of extreme economic downturn, but the office explains the change is, “designed to recover more of the costs of TTAB procedures, reduce the extent to which they are subsidized by other trademark fee collections, and advance policy objectives.” USPTO policy objectives include “effectively using resources to maintain low trademark pendency and high quality, fostering business effectiveness, stabilizing and modernizing trademark IT systems, continuing programs for stakeholder and public outreach, enhancing operations of the TTAB, and ensuring financial sustainability to facilitate effective trademark operations.”
Notwithstanding the justification for increasing the price of federal trademark protection on mark owners, the price hike is happening. Luckily there is still time to take advantage of the current fee structure.