USPTO – United States Patent and Trademark Office
Many people are probably not aware that the United States Patent and Trademark Office is not funded by taxpayer money, rather, it is entirely funded by fees paid by patent and trademark holders. When more funds are needed for the vast array of services provided by the USPTO, fees must inevitably go up. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the USPTO has increased service and processing fees on 42 specific trademark filings, starting January 14, 2017.
In effort to drive users towards electronic filing, the largest fee increases are on paper filings. For example:
The per-class fee for paper filing has increased to $600 from $375 for an initial filing, with increases ranging from $75 to $200 on other applicable per-class fees.
Other increases include fees for paper filings to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. This includes 6 fees for initiating proceedings, and 4 fees for requesting extensions for notice of opposition fillings.
In a statement posted on www.uspto.gov, the reason for the increases are as follows:
“We have made these changes to better align fees with full costs, to protect the integrity of the register by incentivizing more timely filing or examination and more efficient resolution of appeals and trials, and to promote the efficiency of the trademark process, in large part through lower-cost electronic filing options.”
In 2015, the latest available year for data, there were 709,453 total patent documents published by the USPTO. This was a new record. The number of trademark applications for the same year was 530,270, and the number of trademarks currently registered and maintained through the USPTO is more than 2.1 million. With these numbers perpetually growing, the need for streamlining and expediting the patent and trademark process is obvious.
As technology continues to progress at a breathtaking pace, the way we process and protect intellectual property must keep pace. And it is more important than ever to get the proper legal help with your patent and trademark applications. A mistake can cost you dearly and you may never get a second chance.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.