TMEP 405.04: Refunds

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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405.04    Refunds

37 C.F.R. §2.209 

  • (a) The Director may refund any fee paid by mistake or in excess of that required. A change of purpose after the payment of a fee, such as when a party desires to withdraw a trademark application, appeal or other trademark filing for which a fee was paid, will not entitle a party to a refund of such fee.  The Office will not refund amounts of twenty-five dollars or less unless a refund is specifically requested, and will not notify the payor of such amounts.  If a party paying a fee or requesting a refund does not provide the banking information necessary for making refunds by electronic funds transfer (31 U.S.C. 3332  and 31 CFR part 208), or instruct the Office that refunds are to be credited to a deposit account, the Director may require such information, or use the banking information on the payment instrument to make a refund.  Any refund of a fee paid by credit card will be by a credit to the credit card account to which the fee was charged.
  • (b) Any request for refund must be filed within two years from the date the fee was paid, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph.  If the Office charges a deposit account by an amount other than an amount specifically indicated in an authorization (§2.208(b)), any request for refund based upon such charge must be filed within two years from the date of the deposit account statement indicating such charge, and include a copy of that deposit account statement.  The time periods set forth in this paragraph are not extendable.

Under 35 U.S.C. §42(d)   and 37 C.F.R. §2.209, only money paid by mistake or in excess (when a fee is not required by statute or rule, or is not required in the amount paid) may be refunded. A mere change of purpose after the payment of money does not entitle a party to a refund.  For example, if a party deletes a class from an application, or decides that it no longer wishes to go forward with an application or appeal, the party is not entitled to a refund.

If an examining attorney or other USPTO employee erroneously requires a fee, the USPTO will refund the fee submitted in response to the erroneous requirement.

The USPTO will refund the filing fee for an application that is denied a filing date, or a filing fee that is untimely (e.g., the fee for a statement of use or request for an extension of time to file a statement of use filed after expiration of the statutory filing period).  However, after the USPTO has processed an application or other document, the USPTO will not refund the filing fee.  The USPTO will not refund an application filing fee when registration is refused, nor will it refund a fee when a timely filed document (such as a statement of use under 15 U.S.C. §1051(d)   or affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under 15 U.S.C. §1058) is rejected for failure to meet the requirements of the statute and rules.

Refund requests should be sent to Mail Stop 16, Director of the USPTO, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

When a USPTO employee determines that a refund is appropriate, the employee must submit the request to the TMFinance e-mail box with the information necessary for processing the refund.