TMEP 405.06: Payments Refused or Charged Back by Financial Institutions

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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405.06    Payments Refused or Charged Back by Financial Institutions

If a check is returned unpaid, or an EFT or credit card is refused or charged back by a financial institution, the document that accompanied the payment is processed as though the fee had been omitted. See In re Paulsen, 35 USPQ2d 1638, 1639 (Comm’r Pats. 1995). If the document included an authorization to charge deficient fees to a deposit account (37 C.F.R. §2.208) that has sufficient funds to cover the fee, the USPTO charges the fee in question, together with a fee for processing the payment that was refused, to the deposit account.

If the document was not accompanied by an authorization to charge fees to a deposit account, the USPTO notifies the party who filed the document of the fee deficiency in a written action. If the deadline for filing the fee is not set by statute, the fee may be resubmitted within the period set for response to the Office action. If the fee in question is statutory (e.g., a filing fee for an appeal, statement of use, or request for extension of time to file a statement of use), the fee must be resubmitted before the expiration of the statutory filing period.

Under 37 C.F.R. §2.6(b)(12), there is a fee for processing any payment that is refused or charged back by a financial institution. This fee covers the work done by USPTO personnel in processing the payment that is refused or charged back. The requirement for submission of the processing fee is strictly enforced. The USPTO will not approve a pending application for publication or registration, or take any other requested action in an application or registration, until all outstanding fees, including the processing fee, have been paid. Any request for waiver of this processing fee should be referred to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy.

See TMEP §§202.03(a) and 202.03(a)(i) regarding the processing of an application in which the application filing fee payment is refused or charged back by a financial institution, TMEP §1104.10(b)(vii) regarding fee deficiencies in amendments to allege use, TMEP §1108.02(c) regarding fee deficiencies in requests for extensions of time to file a statement of use, TMEP §1109.15(a) regarding fee deficiencies in statements of use, TMEP §1604.06(c) regarding fee deficiencies in affidavits under §8 of the Act, and TMEP §1606.05(c) regarding fee deficiencies in renewal applications.