How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Business Name
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Business Name is part of our Trademark Cost series.
Getting a trademark on your business name is not the same as registering your business name with a specific state. State registration of a business provides no trademark protection. Instead, it merely grants you the right to conduct business within the boundaries of a given state.
How Much Does a Trademark Search Cost?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) doesn’t require that you perform a trademark search prior to registration. Failing to do so, however, can be very costly. If you mistakenly commit trademark infringement, you could end up facing litigation. Federal courts see about 4,000 trademark lawsuits per year.
To avoid becoming part of this statistic, it’s important to fully clear a trademark prior to registration. You can check for similar trademarks yourself at the trademark office website and this won’t cost you a dime. Unfortunately, the issues you encounter when doing so can be very costly. The following examples make this apparent:
- Common law issues: Although common law trademarks aren’t registered with the USPTO, they still maintain protection under the law which means they may have superior rights compared to you.
- User inexperience: The USPTO stores a wealth of information – from slogans to logos – in its database. Novices are likely to have difficulty doing a proper trademark search.
- Trademark class concerns: The existence of a business name in the database may mean you can’t register it, but trademark classes serve as a nuance to this rule.
- Likelihood of confusion: Just because you don’t find an exact match in the database doesn’t mean a likelihood of confusion wouldn’t exist. Finding confusingly similar trademarks requires more experience.
Any of these issues can present hurdles for those who attempt a trademark search on their own. This makes seeking the help of a trademark lawyer preferable. At Mandour & Associates, we offer a flat fee of $400 to perform a trademark search.
How Much Does a Trademark Attorney Cost?
The USPTO typically doesn’t provide specific legal advice and their website points out that hiring a trademark professional is a good idea. The Trademark Information Network has a wealth of information regarding the registration process, but most people opt for legal help rather than going it alone.
If choosing this route, your next question will likely pertain to how much a trademark attorney costs. The answer to this question will depend heavily on the firm you choose and other factors related to registration. It’s not uncommon for an experienced trademark attorney to charge up to $2,000 for handing the trademark search and filing process. This is in addition to the USPTO filing fees.
We understand the importance of prompt and efficient legal services, and along those lines we offer a $950 flat professional fee for a trademark filing including our time for basic follow up.
Trademark Government Filing Fee Costs
The government filing fees remain relatively constant for long periods of time.
TEAS Filing Fees
You’ll file your business name trademark through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). While this isn’t mandatory, you’ll save both time and money by doing so. The initial TEAS fees will range from $250 to $400. The cost to trademark your business name in the system will depend upon the information you provide and your ability to immediately meet all filing requirements.
The TEAS filing fees requirements are as follows:
- TEAS Plus: Although you’ll need to meet strict filing requirements, the $250 fee is the cheapest option available. You’ll need to submit all required information along with an agreement to utilize the electronic system for Email communication is required, and fees are paid upfront.
- TEAS RF: At $275, this reduced fee registration is the second cheapest option available. You still must use electronic submissions and agree to email communications.
- TEAS Regular: This is the most expensive option at $400. The TEAS Plus and TEAS RF requirements do not need to be met. Minimal filing requirements are still required.
Each of these fees are charged on a per class basis. This means a TEAS Plus application with two classes will cost $500. You need only list one class when submitting your application, but it’s important to seek protection under every trademark class your business name is connected to. This will increase your initial fees, but there’s no substitute for full protection.
Applications Based on Actual Use
If your trademark is already being utilized in commerce, an application based on actual use typically has no additional initial fees. If you don’t meet the requirements of the TEAS application you submitted, you may have to pay an additional $125 for your trademark application to be considered. When submitting an application based on use, evidentiary specimens along with statements of use are required.
Intent to Use Applications
Prior to the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988, all business name trademarks had to be based on actual use. After passage of the statute, entrepreneurs were allowed to submit applications based on an intent to use. The steps are nearly identical to those in the traditional trademark process, but a Notice of Allowance (NOA) is sent rather than a registration notice.
An application based on future use will see additional trademark government filing fees. This includes a per-class $100 fee when you submit a Statement of Use showing current usage in commerce. You have six months to submit this following receipt of an NOA. If you cannot meet this deadline, you can request an extension up to five times. This costs $125 per class.
An initial extension request must be received within six months of your NOA issuance. Any additional requests must be made before the prior extension expires, and subsequent requests may require you to show good cause.
Petition to Revive Fees
Trademark abandonment can occur if you fail to meet certain deadlines in the registration process. You can petition the USPTO to revive your application, but this will require a $100 petition fee. This form must be submitted within two months of learning that your trademark has been abandoned.
Trademark Maintenance Fees
Your business registration and licenses need to be renewed periodically, and this is also the case when trademarking business names. Maintenance documents – and thus, additional fees – are required twice during the first decade following registration. Afterwards, you must submit these documents every ten years. Only a per-class fee of $125 is required upon submission of your first maintenance documents.
This $125 fee is submitted with the Section 8 form which confirms your trademark is still in use or you have good reason for not using it. When filing a Section 8 you should also file a Section 15 for incontestability along with the additional $200 per class fee. At the ten-year mark and during every subsequent maintenance phase, the Section 8 will need to be submitted along with a Section 9 renewal form. The two forms have a combined per-class cost of $425.
Every maintenance deadline has a grace period of six months. Paying during this time frame will require $100-$200 in additional fees.
How to Trademark a Business Name
Understanding the cost of trademarking a business name is only the beginning of the process. For more information, you can see our how to trademark a business name page.
If you have an issue related to filing a trademark for a business name, please contact us today.