As I have discussed previously, applying for federal trademark registration is more complicated than many believe. Indeed, even selecting the proper application to file can be confusing.
In recent years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) has made its preference for electronic filing known in no uncertain terms. However, the USPTO actually offers applicants multiple electronic application options, including the relatively recent addition of the TEAS Reduced Fee or TEAS RF application. As with the pre-existing TEAS PLUS electronic application, the new TEAS RF application requires applicants to file documents and correspond with the USPTO electronically. However, the new TEAS RF application now permits applicants to enter their own identifications of the goods and/or services covered in the application.
Previously, applicants were faced with the choice of filing the more expensive regular TEAS application, which permitted “free form” descriptions of goods and services, or filing a TEAS PLUS application, which had a lower filing fee, but required applicants to use one or more of the standard goods and services identifications contained in the U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual.
The filing fee for the new TEAS RF application is $275.00 per class, a significant reduction from the TEAS filing fee of $325.00 per class of goods or services. The TEAS PLUS filing fee has been reduced from $275.00 to $225.00 per class and remains a viable option for applicants whose goods or services clearly fall within the predefined identifications in the U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual. Applicants who do not wish to file and communicate with the USPTO electronically may still use the standard TEAS application, which has a filing fee of $325.00 per class. For applicants who must use paper applications, the filing fee is $375.00 per class.
L. Kevin Levine is the founder of L. Kevin Levine, PLLC (go figure), a boutique entertainment, copyright, trademark, and business law firm in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong musician who grew up in his family's music store, it was inevitable that Kevin would build his legal career in entertainment and business.