If you’ve been putting off registering your trade or service mark, now may be the time to take action. As of January 17, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has lowered—you heard right, lowered—the fee to apply for registration by $50, and the fee to renew your trademark by $100. The office also added a new category under which you can file, bringing the total number to three. The categories are: the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) Plus, the TEAS Reduced Fee, and the TEAS Regular.
The registration fee for TEAS Plus was reduced by $50, and is now $225 per class. TEAS Plus, in addition to being completely electronic, requires more information than the TEAS Reduced Fee or TEAS Regular, and requires all the goods/services to be selected from the USPTO Trademark ID Manual.
The new filing option is the TEAS Reduced Fee, which has an application fee of $275 per class of goods/services, and was instituted to allow trademark applicants the ease of electronic processing and communication, while at the same time giving applicants more flexibility than TEAS Plus in identifying their goods/services.
If you don’t want to submit to the additional requirements of the TEAS Plus or TEAS Reduced Fee, there is still the TEAS Regular filing option which as a filing Fee of $325 per class. This application will not require you to comply with the same restrictions of the other two applications. However applicants are nonetheless encouraged by the USPTO to provide an e-mail address and communicate with the office electronically.
With over 450,000 trademark applications filed at the USPTO last year alone, and an expectation that the number will continue to rise, protecting your company’s mark is becoming more imperative. This new fee reduction will hopeful make this ever need protection more economically feasible for many small business owners and starting entrepreneurs.