Tuesday, March 26, 2024

USPTO Proposes Trademark Fee Hike for FY 2025

The USPTO is proposing to increase many trademark fees in Fiscal Year 2025. The proposal is set forth in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to be published today (pdf here). Comments are due by May 28th.

As part of our regular assessment of fees under our fee-setting authority, we are proposing certain adjustments necessary to efficiently and effectively administer the U.S. trademark system. These fees provide our agency with the ability to implement programs and initiatives driving our 2022–2026 Strategic Plan, including developing news ways to fight fraud, supporting our employees and stakeholders with reliable IT infrastructure, and enhancing our work to reduce pendency. Our proposed changes to the trademark fees can be found in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that will officially publish [March 26th]in the Federal Register. An NPRM on proposed patent fee changes is forthcoming.

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Our proposal is shaped by public feedback we’ve received throughout the past several months, beginning with a public hearing in June 2023 hosted by our Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). Following the hearing, TPAC provided our agency with a written report detailing the public comments received and its recommendations regarding the proposed fees. We considered and analyzed all comments and feedback to create this proposal.

Two provisions seem to be particularly irksome to practitioners. First, if an applicant does not choose the goods and/or services identifications directly from the Trademark Next Generation ID Manual, but instead enters them manually in a free-form text box, the USPTO proposes a $200 fee per class for said free-form identification. Second, the Office proposes a fee of $200 for each additional group of 1,000 characters beyond the first 1,000 characters in the free-form text field, including punctuation and spaces. This fee would also apply to amended identifications that exceed the character limit in a response to an office action.

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlogger comment: Thoughts? 

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2024.


At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Stephen Coates said...

This makes estimating the cost of a filing irksome for sure, and as someone with mainly tech clients, I can't really use TEAS Plus.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger TMAttorneyHeller said...

The ID manual is useless. Multiple entries with specific descriptions that do not apply to ones application. If one can find a description that fits the trademark use then one has to to use free form.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger J.Mike said...

What is this "Next Generation" ID manual of which they speak?!?
Will it be written by an entirely new cast and be better than the original?

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Our proposal is shaped by public feedback we’ve received throughout the past several months."

I doubt the public comments suggested a fee increase.

The USPTO could become so much more efficient if it wanted. Instead, they are hiring more examiners that are not up to speed when they start reviewing files and getting more and more bogged down in minutiae, like spending time to see if an address is really a PO Box. Post-Registration examination wastes a tremendous amount of time looking at details they do not understand because they are not attorneys and not able to determine whether something is a real specimen or not. The inconsistency in specimen review is awful. It takes only a few minutes to review most renewals, so why the high fees? In other countries it is simply a push of a button (although they do not always require specimens).

The Teas system was very good 10-15 years ago. Now it is a clunky dinosaur. A new system would be easy to implement that would allow for "saved" and auto entries based on the particular account details. There is no need to go page to page to page. Why not just one single page?

Everything they are doing is increasing the time and effort on the filing end. Plus, they shorten the time frame for us and make us pay for extensions, but take whatever time they want to review.

Time to become more efficient and move into the future USPTO.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally like the ID manual and find that if fits in most cases. You can also ask for additions/changes to be made.

For filings with lots of goods it can be very time consuming to add them one by one. Pasting into a box can save a LOT of time on a filing. For an attorney pasting once is easier and just let the USPTO examiner figure it out. That can save the client an hour or two or more.

However, it is really time consuming for the USPTO examiner to review sloppy inserted text that often has duplicates and goods/services that do not belong. I suspect that is the key reason why the USPTO is raising the fees for this.

I save my TeasPlus .obj filing templates for use later, but the USPTO keeps updating their systems and wiping out all my hard work and makes me start over again when they update the system. THAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED.

If we could keep our templates in our USPTO account these saved filings can be used for future use without wiping them out. That would be beneficial to everyone.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This essentially punishes clients who think outside the box and desire to offer new and unique goods/services, IMHO.

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a comprehensive fix for most of the USPTO's recent ills...any Chinese entity must use a U.S. trademark attorney to file the application (no Madrid). Better yet, just withdraw from Madrid completely as it has zero benefit for U.S. companies...But no....globalism is good right?

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Mike - Maryland, USA said...

Don't like the extra $200 for simply using free-form, especially as the ID Manual route is a cumbersome process of finding and entering the goods/services, that I do not particular like. If they fix the ID Manual system so that you can populate a bunch of terms (like free-form) and the system then spits out options from which you can chose, maybe then this route would be more palatable. I also agree with an above comment that it "punishes clients who think outside the box and desire to offer new and unique goods/services."

As to the other $200 fee, I agree (and maybe even kicking in at less than 1,000 characters). Let's be serious, how obnoxious and annoying are those descriptions that go on and on and on. And, regardless of annoyance, they are not needed and are grossly repetitive.


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