What is the Difference Between (regular) TEAS, TEAS plus  and TEAS RF

USPTO Trademark Applications?

TEAS PLUS is designed to be easier for both the applicant and the USPTO and comes with a reduced fee that is currently $100 less ($225 instead of $325) than TEAS and $50 less than TEAS RF (TEAS RF is $275). In TEAS Plus the applicant can only choose goods and services identifications that are already in the goods and services ID manual and have already been approved for use by the USPTO. The rate of refusals for TEAS plus is lower than that of TEAS perhaps for this reason, 30% of TEAS PLUS applications publish for opposition without a refusal (70% are refused).

TEAS RF applicants do not need to select an identification of goods and/or services from the Trademark ID Manual or satisfy the other TEAS Plus requirements at the time of filing.

Filing on paper is currenly $375/classification.

TEAS Plus and TEAS RF are a great way to save money and decrease the risk of refusal if an existing goods/service category is strategically good for your business. If you need a custom goods/services category, regular TEAS may be the best way to go. Choosing a goods/service category strategically can be a way to avoid refusal and opposition, being too broad may open you up to more likelihood of confusion and too narrow can be limiting.

Along with the more standard identification of goods or service process in TEAS Plus comes extra requirements in order to use TEAS PLUS such as those found in the chart below. Failure to meet all the TEAS plus extra requirements in the initial application may result in a refusal and a requirement to now pay the initial $50 fee savings in order to respond to the refusal and a change of the application to TEAS. Examples would be the failure to provide a translation of a foreign term or misuse of the fill-in-the-blank part of some goods and services identifications where the blank is filled in with input that goes beyond the scope of the intended identification.

The USPTO is trying to get rid of all paper applications and TEAS PLUS can only be used with all electronic submissions. Since the USPTO has to scan in all paper submissions and manually enter the data which is more expensive and more prone to errors, it is not hard to understand why there has been a push to go all electronic.

Benefits of Using TEAS: Advanced Application May Avoid Likelihood of Confusion

TEAS can be a benefit over TEAS Plus if the user can craft a goods/services identification that makes it clear that there is no conflict between the new application being filed and an existing prior pending application or registration that is ‘confusingly similar’.  (Likelihood of confusion refusals are the most common refusal.)

Let’s say that a search of TESS for Product R showed that someone already has registered a ‘similar’ trademark for Product X. If Product X is contained in the category AB, applying for a new mark in AB using TEAS Plus because it is cheaper will probably cause a refusal or opposition. But, if  Product R can be accurately described using a TEAS category (or possibly a TEAS Plus) that is not contained in AB because the products really aren’t ‘related’, a refusal or opposition can potentially be avoided. If the goods and services are related and would be confused, changing the ID should make no difference and the mark should still be refused.

Learning what terms of art mean like ‘confusingly similar,’ ‘similar’ and ‘related’ to avoid refusals and oppositions requires advanced skills in trademark law. Case law, which is constantly changing, may support that the goods or services are not related. Not Just Patents can search and prepare your application for you to try to avoid refusals and oppositions. Strategies that produce strong trademarks at the end of the day may be better than saving some money at the beginning. The cost of starting over with a new trademark can be devastating to a business; the cost of a delay in a product introduction can stifle growth and seller and consumer confidence.

Benefit of Using TEAS Plus: Preparation Pays Off in Time & Money & Less Refusals

TEAS Plus applications issue faster because the goods and services categories will not be refused for indefiniteness or other reasons. (ID refusals are very common.) TEAS Plus applications also issue faster because all of the necessary information  has to be prepared and inputted at the time of the application in order to file the application. A TEAS applicant will still have to supply almost all of the same information but they will have to do it in a Response to Office Action when the application is refused for not having all the proper information. Using up a nonfinal response (you usually only get one) to provide basic information may be costly in money and in time. Responses to Office Actions take time and can involve attorneys fee.  If you are applying for a design mark that is difficult to describe, TEAS may be better than TEAS Plus because the examiner will write the description for you. If you fail to describe a difficult design mark well enough on TEAS Plus, the examiner or their paralegal may write it for you and charge the $50 fee to convert to TEAS.  


TEAS plus


TEAS (Regular)

To be eligible for the reduced fee, a TEAS Plus application must request registration of a trademark or service mark on the Principal Register, and must include the following at the time of filing:

Applicant’s Name and Address;

Applicant’s Legal Entity and Citizenship (or state or country of incorporation of a juristic applicant);

Paper Correspondence Address.  A name and address for paper correspondence;

E-mail Correspondence Address and Authorization.  An e-mail correspondence address and authorization for the USPTO to send correspondence to the applicant by e-mail;

Filing Basis or Bases.  One or more bases for filing, and all requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.34 for each basis;

Identification and Classification of Goods/Services.  A correctly classified and definite identification of goods/services taken directly from the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (“USPTO ID Manual”), at http://tess2.uspto.gov/netahtml/tidm.html;

Filing Fee.  A filing fee per class for all classes listed in the application;

Signed Verification.  A verified statement, dated and signed by a properly authorized person;

Drawing.  A clear drawing of the mark comprising either:  (1) a claim of standard characters and the mark, typed in the appropriate TEAS Plus field; or (2) a digitized image of a mark in special form.  If the mark includes color, the digitized image must show the mark in color;

Color Claim and Description of Color(s).  If the mark includes color, a claim that the color(s) is a feature of the mark; and a statement in the “Description of the Mark” field naming the color(s) and describing where the color(s) appears on the mark;

Description of Mark.  If the mark is not in standard characters, a description of the mark;

Prior Registrations for Same Mark.  If the applicant owns one or more registrations for the same mark, and the last listed owner(s) of the prior registration(s) differs from the owner of the application, a claim of ownership of the registration(s), identified by the United States registration number(s);

Translation.  If the mark includes foreign wording, a translation of that wording;

Transliteration of Non-Latin Characters.  If the mark includes non-Latin characters, a transliteration of those characters;

Consent to Registration of Name or Portrait.  If the mark includes an individual’s name or portrait, either:  (1) a statement that identifies the living individual whose name or likeness the mark comprises, and written consent of the individual; or (2) a statement that the name or portrait does not identify a living individual;

Concurrent Use.  If the application is a concurrent use application, the application must meet the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.42;

Multiple-Class Applications.  If the application contains goods/services in more than one class, the application must meet the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.86; and

Section 44 Applications.  In a §44 application, the scope of the goods/services covered by the §44 basis may not exceed the scope of the goods/services in the foreign application or registration.

To maintain TEAS Plus status, the applicant must file the following documents through TEAS:

Responses to Office actions (except notices of appeal);

Requests for reconsideration of final Office actions;

Requests to change the correspondence address and/or owner’s address;

Appointment and/or revocation of power of attorney;

Appointment and/or revocation of domestic representative;

Voluntary amendments;

Amendments to allege use under §1(c) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(c);

Statements of use under §1(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(d);

Requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use under §1(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(d); and

Requests to delete a §1(b) basis in a multiple-basis application.

TEAS RF permits an applicant who files an application for registration of a trademark, service mark, certification mark, collective membership mark, or collective trademark based on §1 or §44 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051 or §1126, to pay a reduced filing fee of $275 per class, if the applicant:

(1) Files an application, using the USPTO’s TEAS RF application, available at http://www.uspto.gov;

(2) Agrees to file certain communications regarding the application, such as responses to Office actions, through TEAS; and

(3) Agrees to receive communications concerning the application by e-mail.

To maintain TEAS RF status, the applicant must also file the following documents through TEAS:

Responses to Office actions (except notices of appeal);

Requests for reconsideration of final Office actions;

Requests to change the correspondence address and/or owner’s address;

Appointment and/or revocation of power of attorney;

Appointment and/or revocation of domestic representative;

Voluntary amendments;

Amendments to allege use under §1(c) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(c);

Statements of use under §1(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(d);

Requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use under §1(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051(d); and

Requests to delete a §1(b) basis in a multiple-basis application.

(a) The Office will grant a filing date to an application under section 1 or section 44 of the Act that is in the English language and contains all of the following:

(1) The name of the applicant;

(2) A name and address for correspondence;

(3) A clear drawing of the mark;

(4) A listing of the goods or services;

(5) The filing fee for at least one class of goods or services, required by § 2.6.

 See Why Should I Have A Trademark Attorney Answer My Office Action if you have already applied and been refused.

Don’t assume that protecting your reputation and legal rights is too expensive, abandoning your trademark registration because of problems from office actions and refusals may result in a larger losses-loss of assumption of authenticity, loss of the right to protect from counterfeits, and loss of reputation. In today’s economy (and for the future), Intellectual Property Protection may be one of the best ways to invest in your business. Call us with questions at 1-651-500-7590.  


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Call 1-651-500-7590 or email WP@NJP.legal for Responses to Office Actions; File or Defend an Opposition or Cancellation; Trademark Searches and Applications; Send or Respond to Cease and Desist Letters.

For more information from Not Just Patents, see our other sites:      

Evolved Means, Method or Format-Is your trademark registration obsolete?

Trademark e Search    Strong Trademark     Enforcing Trade Names

Common Law Trademarks  Trademark Goodwill   Abandoned Trademarks

Chart of Patent vs. Trade Secret

Patent or Trademark Assignments

Trademark Disclaimers   Trademark Dilution     TSDR Status Descriptors

Oppose or Cancel? Examples of Disclaimers  Business Cease and Desist

Patent, Trademark & Copyright Inventory Forms

USPTO Search Method for Likelihood of Confusion

Verify a Trademark  Be First To File    How to Trademark Search

Are You a Content Provider-How to Pick an ID  Specimens: webpages

How to Keep A Trade Secret

Decrease Your Vulnerability to Cancellation

Using Slogans (Taglines), Model Numbers as Trademarks

Which format? When Should I  Use Standard Characters?

Opposition Pleadings    UDRP Elements    

Oppositions-The Underdog    Misc Changes to TTAB Rules 2017

How To Answer A Trademark Cease and Desist Letter

Trademark Integrity: Are your IP Assets Vulnerable?

Trademark Refusals    Does not Function as a Mark Refusals

Insurance Extension  Advantages of ®  ApplyTM.com

How to Respond to Office Actions  Final Refusal

What is a Compact Patent Prosecution?

Acceptable Specimen       Supplemental Register   $224 Statement of Use

How To Show Acquired Distinctiveness Under 2(f)

Trademark-Request for Reconsideration

Why Not Just Patents? Functional Trademarks   How to Trademark     

What Does ‘Use in Commerce’ Mean?    

Grounds for Opposition & Cancellation     Cease and Desist Letter

Trademark Incontestability  TTAB Manual (TBMP)

Valid/Invalid Use of Trademarks     Trademark Searching

TTAB/TBMP Discovery Conferences & Stipulations

TBMP 113 TTAB Document Service  TBMP 309 Standing

Examples and General Rules for Likelihood of Confusion

Examples of Refusals for Likelihood of Confusion   DuPont Factors

What are Dead or Abandoned Trademarks?

 Can I Use An Abandoned Trademark?

Color as Trade Dress  3D Marks as Trade Dress  

Can I Abandon a Trademark During An Opposition?

Differences between TEAS, TEAS RF and TEAS plus  

Extension of Time to Oppose?

Ornamental Refusal  Standard TTAB Protective Order

SCAM Letters Surname Refusal

What Does Published for Opposition Mean?

What to Discuss in the Discovery Conference

Descriptive Trademarks Trademark2e.com  

Likelihood of Confusion 2d  TMOG Trademark Tuesday

Acquired Distinctiveness  2(f) or 2(f) in part

Merely Descriptive Trademarks  

Merely Descriptive Refusals

ID of Goods and Services see also Headings (list) of International Trademark Classes

Register a Trademark-Step by Step  

Protect Business Goodwill Extension of Time to Oppose

Geographically Descriptive or Deceptive

Change of Address with the TTAB using ESTTA

Likelihood of confusion-Circuit Court tests

Pseudo Marks    How to Reply to Cease and Desist Letter

Not Just Patents Often Represents the Underdog

 Overcome Merely Descriptive Refusal   Overcome Likelihood Confusion

Protecting Trademark Rights (Common Law)

Steps in a Trademark Opposition Process   

Section 2(d) Refusals   FilingforTrademark.com

Zombie Trademark  

What is the Difference between Principal & Supplemental Register?

Typical Brand Name Refusals  What is a Family of Marks? What If Someone Files An Opposition Against My Trademark?

How to Respond Office Actions  

DIY Overcoming Descriptive Refusals

Trademark Steps Trademark Registration Answers TESS  

Trademark Searching Using TESS  Trademark Search Tips

Trademark Clearance Search   DIY Trademark Strategies

Published for Opposition     What is Discoverable in a TTAB Proceeding?

Counterclaims and Affirmative Defenses

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