WTR Quotes Eric Perrott Regarding USPTO’s Proposed Fee Changes

In May 2023, the USPTO published proposed changes to their trademark fees for 2025, as part of their plan to reduce pendency. However, many trademark practitioners have spoken out against the proposed changes, worrying that they may have an adverse effect on small businesses and legitimate trademark filers.

WTR spoke with Eric Perrott about the proposed trademark fee increases. 

Most notably, the USPTO has reduced the proposed increase for filing a letter of protest.

Initially, the office expressed an intention to raise the protest letter filing fee by 400%, a suggestion that was met with alarm from practitioners. “$250 for a letter of protest is absurd,” exclaimed Eric Perrott, partner at Gerben IP. As the letter of protest is “a tool to help examiners do their jobs more effectively”, and was free until 2020-2021, the proposed increase “essentially guts its effectiveness”, Perrott warned back in May.

Attorneys aren’t just concerned with fee increases either. The USPTO has also announced some new fees around providing “insufficient information, which are also cause for concern.

“The largest fee increases are geared toward incentivising short, easily-examined applications. It also incentivises attorneys to meet the USPTO requirements before submitting, rather than just waiting to get an office action,” notes Perrott. “I am concerned, however, about how some of these ‘deficiency’ fees will be applied as some of them (like transliteration statements, living person inquiries, and others) are subject to the examiner’s discretion,” he says.

Another concern raised by trademark attorneys is how challenging it will become for attorneys to provide accurate quotes for their clients.

“It may be that these issues are quickly resolved with guidance, but in the meantime, I remain unsure of how I will quote clients ahead of time,” Perrott says.

Source: Newstead, Louise. https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com. “USPTO’s proposed trademark fees for 2025 risk stifling tech innovation, practitioners say”. 28 March 2024.

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