USPTO Seeks Comments on Raising Fees to Incentivize Electronic TM Filings
In another August 16, 2002, Notice (here) in the Federal Register (vol. 77, no. 159, page 49426), the USPTO is seeking public comments on the desirability of "adjusting trademark application filing fees so as to promote efficiency for the USPTO and customers by incentivizing complete electronic communication." The deadline for written comments is October 15, 2012.
The PTO requests that commenters respond to the following questions:
1. Fees for filing an application for registration of a trademark are currently set at: $375 per class for filing by a paper application; $325 per class for filing electronically using TEAS; and $275 per class for filing electronically using TEAS Plus (additional requirements apply, including authorizing email communication from the USPTO, agreeing to file all subsequent documents electronically, and selecting goods/services from a preapproved entry in the U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual). Given the objective to increase end-to-end electronic processing of trademark applications, the significantly higher cost of processing paper applications, and the ability of the USPTO to offer some fee reductions, what fee amounts would you consider reasonable for the three existing methods of filing?
2. How much of a discount do you consider appropriate for the proposed TEAS application fee discount if the applicant authorizes email communication and agrees to file all responses and other documents electronically during the prosecution of the application?
3. If you generally file trademark applications using TEAS, but not TEAS Plus, how much of a proposed discount would motivate you to authorize email communication and agree to file all responses and other documents electronically during the prosecution of a trademark application?
4. If the TEAS Plus fee were reduced and remained the lowest fee, and the discount TEAS option were also offered, what would be the impact on the TEAS Plus filing level—i.e. would you be more likely to choose TEAS Plus as the lowest fee, or to select the discount TEAS option with its less burdensome requirements?
5. The cost of processing paper filed applications is substantially higher than electronically filed applications. If you generally file paper trademark applications, would you continue to do so even if the paper application fee were to increase, and why?
6. What advantages and disadvantages do you see in a fee structure that includes the TEAS application fee discount and a significantly higher fee for paper-filed applications?