How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Logo
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Logo is part of our Trademark Cost series.
The visual elements of a company can be an important part of brand’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The cost of federal protection over your logo can vary dependent on a variety of factors. Knowing the best way to trademark a logo will reduce your overall costs.
Trademark Search Fees
We do a trademark search for $300.
A trademark search done by a professional will reduce the risk that your logo will be opposed by a third party or refused entirely. Either of these situations can turn expensive quickly, and failure to secure appropriate registration can result in lost research and development fees, manufacturing costs, and marketing expenditures. Any of these could be disastrous for a company.
The following are tools that anyone can use in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS):
- Basic Word Search: Text searches can be conducted with this tool. Logo queries are not supported.
- Structured Search: Multiple fields can be searched along with design codes representing visual aspects of your logo.
- Free Form Search: Boolean operators can be used for trademark searches. Design codes and multiple search terms are allowed.
While these are all powerful tools for ensuring a design similar to your logo isn’t already in use, there are numerous limitations. In fact, the USPTO recommends “Do not assume that your mark can be registered” even if you believe the search results prove there’s no likelihood of confusion. This is why most businesses – at the recommendation of the USPTO – opt to hire a trademark attorney for this process.
One of the most overlooked benefits of a clearance search is the avoidance of trademark litigation. If someone is already using a similar logo, applying for registration is essentially broadcasting that you’ve committed trademark infringement.
While not required by law, a clearance search is one of the most important costs of trademarking a logo. A search can help identify probable conflicts and potentially avoid expensive trademark litigation. Do-it-yourself searches with TESS can be beneficial as a starting point, but they should not be relied upon until a professional has conducted a search.
The government fee for a trademark application is $250/per class.
While the government fee structures are the same, the costs faced by each applicant could vary significantly depending on how the application is filed. If your product or service falls under multiple trademark classes, for instance, you’ll need to pay fees for each.
The cost of trademarking a logo could also vary dependent on your usage and where you are in the registration process. If you’re submitting an Intent to Use Trademark, for instance, you’ll need to pay additional costs to file a statement of use once you’ve begun using the logo in commerce. The following fees will give you a good indication of what you’ll end up paying:
TEAS Government Filing Fees
Submitting a paper application is far more expensive than doing so digitally, so most people utilize the USPTO digital filing system (TEAS). You can file three separate TEAS forms, and each requires a different level of information. This means your cost to trademark a logo will go down significantly if you meet the requirements set forth in TEAS Plus.
Failing to include the required level of information can result in your application being delayed. You’ll also need to pay the remainder of any appropriate fee for filing the wrong TEAS form. Each of these costs are charged per-class. This means two applications for similar logos could vary by hundreds of dollars if one falls into multiple trademark classes.
Use in Commerce Applications
If your logo is already being used in commerce, you will have to submit an Affidavit of Use along with an evidentiary specimen of use. This will avoid any additional application fees linked to your initial filing. If the USPTO examining trademark attorney decides that sufficient use has not occurred – or that use was purely ornamental – you’ll need to submit another specimen or amend your application to intent to use.
Intent to Use Applications
Even if you have yet to use your logo in commerce, it’s still ideal to secure federal protection over it. You can do this by filing an Intent to Use application. There’s no way to secure a trademark registration until you engage in commercial use, but you’ll be able to start the process and secure some ownership rights over your brand’s logo.
During your initial submission, you’ll face the same fees as an application based on use. You’ll also go through the process of an examining trademark attorney review and opposition period. If your application goes unopposed in the Official Gazette, however, a Notice of Allowance will issue.
Once this notice has been issued, you have six months to either submifile a Statement of Use or request an extension. The statement of use cost is an additional $100 per class, and it must accompany evidentiary specimens of commercial use. If you haven’t used your logo within six months and need an extension, the fee is $125 per class.
The deadlines set by the USPTO are very strict, and failure to abide by them could result in trademark abandonment. If this occurs, you will have secured no federal rights over your logo. Your application fees will also not be refunded. One you receive notification of abandonment, you have two months to pay a $100 fee to have the application revived.
Trademark Renewal Fees
The USPTO requires that you maintain your trademarked logo over time. A Section 8 renewal, for instance, must be submitted between five to six years following registration. When filing the Section 8 you should also file a Section 15 request for incontestability. The government fee for the combined Section 8 & 15 is $325 per class.
This Section 8 filing asserts that you’re still using the logo in commerce or have sufficient reasoning for not doing so. The following are examples of excusable nonuse:
- Trade embargoes.
- Temporary nonuse related to sale of business.
- Temporary nonuse due to production interruptions related to retooling.
- Orders are on hand but product cannot be quickly or mass produced.
- Fire, illness and catastrophes.
Between nine and ten years following registration, the Section 8 must be submitted again along with a Section 9 renewal. The combined Section 8 & 9 government filing fee is $425 per class. These two forms must continue to be filed every ten years.
Missing a deadline in this case will not result in automatic abandonment. After the deadline this is a grace period of up to six months, but you’ll face up to $200 in additional government filing fees by filing during this time.
Dealing with Wrongful Registrations
Trademark infringement is a serious issue with major legal repercussions. It’s important to hold individuals who violate your trademark rights accountable, but there are other options outside of the courtroom. If a trademark application hasn’t been published in the Official Gazette, you can submit a Letter of Protest. There are no government filing fees for the letter of protest and it can stop a similar logo from moving forward in the process. Once it’s been published, however, you’ll need to file a Notice of Opposition along with a government filing fee of $400 per class.
Trademark Attorney Fees
The professional fee that we charge for a trademark application is $650. This includes our time to prepare and file the application and follow up on basic issues until the trademark registers.
Hiring a trademark attorney is another expense that’s not required for registration. According to the USPTO’s guidelines, however, securing legal representation is ideal. Trademark Lawyers who work in this area obviously have far more experience than a typical business owner. This can help avoid many of the common registration pitfalls that often result in lost time, money and other resources.
Price alone should never be the deciding factor when choosing a trademark lawyer, but it’s okay to make it a consideration. These fees can vary widely. Generally large law firms will charge the most and a large law firm may be overkill for a typical business.
We are happy to assist if you have questions or would like to hire us to file a trademark for a logo. Please feel free to contact us.