In what should be regarded as welcome news for trademark owners, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it is considering fee reductions for certain trademark applications and renewals filed online.

In a notice of proposed rulemaking that issued on May 9, 2014, the PTO proposed reducing fees as follows:

  • $325 to $275 per class for applications filed under Section 1 or Section 44 of the Lanham Act, if (1) the application is filed through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and (2) applicants agree to receive all communications by e-mail and file all responses and other documents through TEAS during the prosecution of the application.  This option would be known as a TEAS Reduced Fee application.
  • $275 to $225 per class for a TEAS Plus application if the applicant files through TEAS and agrees to electronic communication. A TEAS Plus application is where an applicant selects its description of goods/services from the PTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual.
  • $400 to $300 per class for a TEAS application for renewal of a registration.

The reduced fee option will not be available to applications filed via the Madrid Protocol, since such applications cannot be filed through TEAS. Also, the filing fee of $375 per class for applications filed on paper and the filing fee of $400 per class for renewal of a registration filed on paper will not change.

According to the PTO, the proposed reductions are intended to promote efficiency for both the PTO and its customers through increased electronic communication. Among other things, the PTO has found that filing through TEAS and authorizing email communication expedites processing, shortens pendency, and minimizes manual processing and the potential for data entry errors.