Trademark Attorney Cost
A common question for trademark filers is how much does a trademark attorney cost. Hiring a trademark attorney to register a trademark with the US Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is not excessively expensive. For trademark applications, our flat fees are:
- $300 for a trademark search reported in a two page memo; and
- $650 for filing a trademark application including basic follow up through registration
These flat fees do not include government filing fees. If your application goes smoothly no additional legal fees are charged.
The government filing fee for a trademark application is generally $250 per class. So a trademark attorney cost is typically made up of three elements: the search, the application and the government fee.
How Much Does a Trademark Attorney Cost?
Why is a Trademark Search Necessary?
Trademark searches are necessary to ensure that your proposed trademark is not already in use or registered and that your proposed trademark is not too similar to a trademark already in use. The USPTO must follow all legal requirements for trademark registration. One such requirement is that a proposed trademark cannot be registered if it is the same as or if it is confusingly similar to a prior trademark. Any proposed trademark that is an exact match will be rejected quickly. The more nuanced and difficult questions arise with similar but not identical trademarks and with trademarks that are not used in relation to the same goods or services. A trademark search will reveal these similar trademarks which will save money and time since your proposed trademark cannot be modified after filing the application.
The USPTO maintains a searchable online database of trademarks called the Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) that can be used by anyone. Currently, there are about 2.5 million trademark registrations. See USPTO Data Dashboard here.
However, it is important to have an experienced trademark attorney conduct a trademark search. A TESS search is generally not broad enough since common law trademark rights may exist without a registration.
What is Covered by the $650 Application Filing Fee?
Our $650 flat fee for filing the trademark application covers reasonable client consultation and preparation of the application including the gathering of supporting documentation (such as drawings, usage specimens, etc.). The flat fee also covers routine communications with the Trademark Office after the application is filed.
What are Additional Fees Charged by the USPTO?
Depending on the circumstances and the type of application filed, there are additional fees charged by the USPTO. The standard fee covers an actual use application. That is an application to register a trademark that is currently being used for the sale of goods and services.
However, if your business wants to use a trademark in the near future, then an intent-to-use application can be filed. As the name suggests, an intent-to-use application is based on an expectation of future use of a new trademark. The USPTO charges additional fees for intent-to-use applications. Those charges are an additional $100 per each class of goods/services selected.
The USPTO also charges other fees related to requests for extensions of time. The full fee schedule can be found here.
What is the Application Process?
To register a trademark, an owner must file an application with the USPTO. Each application is for only one trademark. If there are multiple trademarks to be registered, then multiple applications must be filed.
With each application, the owner must identify the class of goods or services to which the trademark applies. To do this, the application must select one (or more) of the numbered classes that is used by USPTO to organize commercial goods and services. For example, if you want to trademark a phrase or logo with respect to apparel that will be Class 025. If you provide educational or entertainment services that is Class 041. The USPTO government filing fee is generally $250 per class.
After the application is filed, it is processed by an examining attorney at the Trademark Office. The whole process takes about nine months, assuming there are no complications. There is a backlog, so the examining attorney often does not begin review until three or four months after the application is filed. The process is complete when a registration number is issued by the USPTO.
The examining attorney reviews the application to ensure that the proposed registration meets the legal requirements for registration. These requirements are set out in the Lanham Act enacted by Congress. See 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq. If the examining attorney is satisfied with the application and satisfied that it meets the legal requirements, then the proposed trademark is published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for 30 days. During this time period, challenges can be filed against the application in the form of a trademark opposition. If there are no challenges, then the application proceeds toward registration.
What Happens if There are Complications?
If there are complications with the application, then additional legal services may be necessary to resolve the complications or the application will have to be withdrawn or abandoned. Whether the complications can be resolved depends on the issue and where in the process the complication has arisen. During the examination phase, sometimes the problem can be resolved by modifying the proposed trademark and amending the application. Generally if you have done a trademark search and utilized an experienced trademark attorney, unexpected issues do not arise.
Complications also might arise during the publication phase. As noted, all proposed trademarks that are not withdrawn are published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for thirty days. During this time, third parties can file a Notice of Opposition to the pending trademark. Additional legal services would be needed to resolve an Opposition. Those services might include negotiating an agreement or litigating the objections before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”). An Opposition proceeding before the TTAB is similar to what you might expect with a lawsuit filed in court. Like a typical lawsuit, an initial pleading — a complaint — is filed and the applicant has a chance to file counter-pleadings. The parties will engage in a period of discovery which is the exchange of evidence and information. Eventually, the parties will file a trial brief to the Board. As can be seen, an Opposition is complex and you will require dedicated and experienced legal representation. If your application faces an Opposition, a quote for legal services can be provided. We provide a full range of TTAB trial services.
Are There Additional Costs After Trademark Registration is Complete?
Trademark registrations must periodically be renewed and additional government filing fee are applicable. Failure to renew a registration will result in the registration being canceled (or being marked dead). The first renewal deadline is between the fifth and sixth year anniversary of the registration. At that time, a trademark owner must file with the USPTO a declaration attesting to continuing use of the trademark (or a declaration of excusable non-use). At this time a Section 15 requesting incontestability should also be filed.
Then, another renewal filing is required at the 10-year anniversary mark and every 10 years thereafter.
If you have questions related to a trademark attorney cost, please contact us today.