Friday, November 20, 2020

Final Rule – Setting and adjusting Trademark fees


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is setting and adjusting Trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board fees for the first time in nearly three years through its Final Rule, effective January 2, 2021. This represents the end of a multi-year review and adjustment process.

Consistent with federal fee-setting standards, in December 2018, the USPTO began its biennial review of fees, costs, and revenues, and found that fee adjustments were necessary to address increasing costs and to provide necessary resources for Trademark operations, including implementing the USPTO 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

In August 2019, the USPTO published a Federal Register notice to announce plans to exercise its fee-setting authority to set or adjust Trademark fees. In September 2019, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) held a public hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, inviting members of the public to submit written and/or oral comments on fee adjustments. The TPAC considered the public comments from this hearing, which were made available on the USPTO website. On October 31, 2019, the TPAC provided a written report setting forth the comments, advice, and recommendations of the public and the committee regarding the proposed fees.

The USPTO considered and analyzed all comments, advice, and recommendations received from the TPAC and then, on June 19, 2020, published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding setting and adjusting Trademark fees. The USPTO received and considered comments from the public. Responses to the comments are included in the Final Rule.

More recently, the USPTO also considered the state of the U.S. economy, the operational needs of the agency, and the comments and advice received from the public in determining when to implement the Final Rule. The USPTO made adjustments based on all of these considerations, which is also consistent with the USPTO’s many other efforts to provide various types of relief to stakeholders, including certain deadline extensions and fee waivers. Ultimately, the goal of the USPTO is to ensure not only that businesses and entrepreneurs can weather the economic downturn, but also that they can hit the ground running as it passes.

The overall strategy of the Final Rule is to balance a reasonable and affordable fee schedule with sufficient multi-year revenue to recover the aggregate costs of maintaining the USPTO’s trademark-related operations and accomplishing the USPTO’s trademark-related strategic goals.

The Final Rule enables the USPTO to continue to enhance the quality of trademark examination, achieve optimal examination times, invest in modernizing trademark information technology systems and infrastructure, and provide stability to USPTO operations, even in times of financial fluctuations.

To learn more about the fee changes, please visit the Summary of FY 2020 Final Trademark Fee Rule page of the USPTO website.