If you’ve started your trademark application you’ve likely come across two options: “TEAS Plus” vs “TEAS Standard” and asked to pick between the two. You understand trademark basics, and you completed a conflict check search for your trademark. Choosing between the two is the difference between a $100 fee, an Office Action refusal, or potential trademark application rejection. Here, I pull back the curtain between the two applications and explain how using the Trademark ID Manual will help you decide.

I. The Difference between TEAS Plus vs TEAS Standard

After you login with your MyUSPTO account, you will be confronted with two choices TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard. See screenshot below:

Once you start an application, you'll be given the option of choosing between TEAS Plus vs Standard.

Simply put, “TEAS” stands for “Trademark Electronic Application System.” The United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) strongly encourages filing trademarks online, and your application will move more quickly with online filing versus paper filing. In fact, the USPTO will assess a penalty in the form of additional fees if you file by paper application.

The TEAS Plus option says:

TEAS Plus: I am filing a TEAS Plus application, with a reduced fee of $250 per class of goods/services. Failure to comply with TEAS Plus Requirements will incur an additional processing fee of $100 per class of goods/services.

On the other hand, the TEAS Standard option states:

TEAS Standard: I am filing a TEAS Standard application, with a fee of $350 per class of goods/services.

As you can see, the TEAS “Plus” application costs $100 less than “Standard.” It probably does not help, that the USPTO calls the less expensive TEAS of the two options “Plus” while the more expensive option is labeled “Standard.” Fortunately, there is an easy way to figure out which application is right for you.

II. Search the Trademark ID Manual

The Trademark ID Manual contains an encyclopedia of possible goods and services. When you pull up the Trademark ID Manual, look at the large field box under “ID Master List.” Now, type in what you intend to sell as a service or good in the field box. For example, if your business streams video podcasts you will receive two results if you type in “entertainment podcast.” The descriptions state:

  • Entertainment services, namely, providing video podcasts in the field of {indicate field or subject matter}
  • Entertainment services, namely, providing podcasts in the field of {indicate field or subject matter}

See if your goods or services show on the Trademark ID Manual

This is fine for most people. However, what if you are a big-shot e-Sports gamer that regularly streams video game content and occasionally discusses current events with an audience? In that case, your business would benefit from a custom description.

A. Specific Industries or Businesses

For many entries, the Trademark ID Manual will have a field called “{indicate field or subject matter}.” This will allow you to custom-tailor a less expensive TEAS Plus form. However, if you are selling very specific goods or services that cannot be found, you benefit with the TEAS Standard form. This also holds true if you are in a very niche industry.

The key difference between a TEAS Plus vs TEAS Standard trademark application comes down to whether your goods or services are accurately described in the Trademark ID Manual. However, you should make sure that the description really does describe your goods or services. Note, however, that if you use an inaccurate description, you will receive an Office Action refusal.

B. The Key Difference Between TEAS Plus vs TEAS Standard

Let’s say you have completed your review of the Trademark ID Manual. Which application should you pick? Here’s your checklist:

  • If you can find an accurate description of your class of goods or services, use the TEAS Plus application.
  • If you cannot find an accurate description of your class of goods or services, consider the TEAS Standard application.

III. Recap

In conclusion, whether you use the TEAS Plus vs TEAS Standard for your trademark application is simple. Ask yourself if the Trademark ID Manual accurately describes the goods or services you provide. If the answer is “yes,” that’s great because the TEAS Plus application is for you. If the Trademark ID Manual does not accurately describe the goods or services, then you should strongly consider filing a TEAS Standard application.

Please feel free to contact Syed Law, or you can get started right away on your application. If you’ve received an Office Action in response to an incorrect application selection, we can help.

Tags: TEAS Plus, TEAS Standard, Trademark, Trademark Application, Trademark Goods, Trademark ID Manual, Trademark Services