If you want to file your trademark application yourself, then you need to make sure you file the right application to meet your needs and budget.
Last year, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) launched a redesigned website with the goal of making it easier for people to find the information and forms they need. The redesigned website coincided with lower trademark application fees and new types of trademark applications, which are available through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
There are now three trademark applications to choose from: TEAS Plus, TEAS RF, and TEAS Regular. Here’s what you need to know about the choices, which are ordered below from least expensive to most expensive:
1. TEAS Plus
Filing a TEAS Plus application will cost you $225 per class of goods or services in filing fees. These are non-refundable and charged directly by the USPTO. When you use a TEAS Plus application, you must use one of the pre-written descriptions of goods of services available through the USTPO application search tool. You may not write a custom description or edit the prewritten explanations.
Also, with a TEAS Plus application, you must communicate with the USPTO entirely electronically. That means not only are all communications sent electronically, but your application must be filed electronically, too. No paper applications are allowed.
Keep in mind, if you fail to pre-list any disclaimers or existing registrations that might cause confusion of ownership with your mark and a refusal of registration from the USPTO, then your TEAS Plus filing will be revoked and you’ll have to pay an additional $50 per class to continue your application as a TEAS RF application (see choice #2 below).
2. TEAS Reduced Fees (TEAS RF)
A TEAS RF application has a slightly higher filing fee of $275 per class of goods or services. Like the TEAS Plus application, all communications must be electronic and no paper applications are allowed. However, you can use customized descriptions of goods and services, which can give you better protection for your mark in the future (if the description is well-written).
3. TEAS Regular
The TEAS Regular application is the most expensive with a filing fee of $325 per class of goods and services. If you file a TEAS Regular application, you can write custom descriptions of goods and services, and communications don’t have to be entirely electronic. You can also submit a paper application if you file a TEAS Regular application. In other words, it’s the most manual process for the USPTO, so the fee is higher to the applicant.
4 Questions to Choose the Right Trademark Application
There are four questions you have to ask yourself to determine which trademark application you should use:
- Do you want to file a paper application? If so, you need to use a TEAS Regular application.
- Do you want to receive non-electronic communications from the USPTO? If so, you need to use a TEAS Regular application.
- Do you want to receive all communications from the USPTO electronically? If so, you need to use a TEAS Reduced Fees or a TEAS Plus application.
- Do you want to write your own descriptions of the goods and services related to your mark? If so, you need to use a TEAS Regular or a TEAS Reduced Fees application.
The infographic below includes a simple chart that will help you choose the right trademark application.