Lower Trademark Filing Fees Coming Soon The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be charging lower filing fees starting in the middle of January.

By Jaia Thomas

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received 455,017 trademark applications, an increase of 4.9 percent over the prior year. With lower filing fees taking effect in a few weeks, the USPTO is expecting even more applications in 2015.

Effective Jan. 17, 2015, registering a federal trademark with the USPTO will become more economically feasible for many entrepreneurs and small-business owners. The USPTO has issued several new rules reducing filing fees for electronic trademark applications and renewals.

1. TEAS Plus applications

Electronic trademark applications are filed pursuant to the USPTO's online platform known as the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). TEAS offers two options for filing trademark applications: a regular TEAS application and a TEAS Plus application.

Related: 3 Big Patent Moves That Won't Generate Real Value

TEAS Plus applications require a little more information from the applicant and are genearally less expensive. The USPTO has reduced the TEAS PLUS application fees from $275 per class to $225 per class.

2. TEAS applications

The USPTO has also reduced the filing fee for an application filed using the regular TEAS application form from $325 to $275 per class if the applicant authorizes email communication and agrees to file all responses and other specified documents electronically during the prosecution of the application.

The option will now be known as a TEAS Reduced Fee ("TEAS RF" application). The USPTO estimates that the financial impact of the reduced rates will be a $10,234,100 reduction in fees for TEAS Plus applicants and a $5,181,650 reduction in fees for TEAS RF applicants.

3. Trademark renwals

It is also worth noting that later this month, the USPTO will begin sending courtesy email reminders of renewal filing deadlines. An active trademark can last indefinitely as long as you file all the necessary renewal documents in time. In the past, trademark registrants were solely responsible for keeping track of these filing deadlines themselves.

Moving forward, reminders will be sent to those registrants who provided an email address to the USPTO and authorized email communication. Most importantly, the USPTO will be decreasing the filing fee for such renewal documents filed online from $400 to $300.

For more information, visit www.uspto.gov.

Related: Protect Your Most Valuable Business Assets

Jaia Thomas

Attorney and Entrepreneur

Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment attorney. She also assists business owners with intellectual property matters, such as copyright and trademark registrations.

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