The trademark fees for filing a trademark application generally include the fees associated with a search, filing the application, and paying the government filing fee.
The cost of protecting a trademark will vary based on a variety of factors including whether a search is performed, how many different trademark classes are included in the application, and the experience level of the trademark attorney performing the work.
Trademark Search Fee
Our professional flat fee for a trademark search is $300.
Of all the costs related to protecting your brand identifiers, trademark search fees are the most easily overlooked. This is because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t mandate that a clearance search be performed. The process is meant to identify the potential for any likelihood of confusion that may occur, so skipping this step can prove costly if it turns out that you committed trademark infringement.
If the trademark is likely to create confusion among consumers with a prior trademark, it’s very likely to be rejected by USPTO examiners. This means the trademark fees linked to an application will be forfeited. Since the USPTO now receives over 450,000 submissions during a given year, the potential for confusion is a very real possibility. This is especially the case if your trademark isn’t inherently distinctive.
While you could perform your own search with the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), there are a few intrinsic problems with this:
- Common law protections: Just because something isn’t registered with the USPTO does not mean it lacks protection. Common law trademarks won’t show up in TESS searches.
- Lack of experience: Users with no experience in the intricacies of TESS are unlikely to understand what a full clearance search involves.
- Legal nuances: Identifiers don’t need to be identical to create confusion. The trademark may be different by sight but if they have the same connotation they can be deemed confusable.
- Industry and class issues: Different trademark classes can allow identical trademarks to simultaneously exist, but related industries could also create confusion.
A search that overlooks even one potential issue can cause problems. This is why having an experienced trademark lawyer perform this work should be considered an essential trademark fee. You’ll find that some third-party firms and law firms charge up to $1,000 for a trademark search.
Government Filing Fees
The government filing fee for a trademark application is generally $250 per class.
There are certain trademark fees that can be avoided – even if doing so could potentially create issues during the registration process. When it comes to government filing fees, however, there’s no way to avoid them without sacrificing protection.
Common law trademark protections grant ownership over your trademark the moment you use it in commerce. Without federal registration, though, your rights will be limited to a certain geographic area. This means third parties can gain rights to your trademark in large portions of the country.
The following are a list of other government fees you may face and potential ways to avoid them.
Intent to Use Trademark Fees
Intent to use trademark applications generally incur an additional $100 per class government filing fee.
Thanks to the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988, the USPTO began accepting applications for intent to use trademarks. You can submit your registration in this manner if you have a bona fide intent to engage in commercial use. Once your trademark makes it through the 30-day opposition period, you’ll receive a Notice of Allowance that gives you six months to use it in commerce. To prove commercial use, you’ll need to submit a Statement of Use along with evidentiary specimens. This requires a government filing fee of $100 per class. If you’re unable to engage in commercial use prior to the six-month deadline, you can file an extension request for $125 per class. This can be done up to five times, but you’ll need to pay these fees on each occasion.
If at the time of filing you’re able to provide evidence that your trademark is already being used in commerce, you can avoid additional fees linked to intent to use trademark applications.
Trademark Attorney Fees
Our flat professional fee to prepare and file a trademark application and do basic follow up through registration is $650.
Trademark attorney fees associated with filing a trademark application very greatly depending on the law firm. Whereas large law firms typically charge upwards or $2000, filing services exist for less than $200. However, with most filing services a trademark attorney will not be involved at all with your trademark filing which can lead to problems later. As for large law firms, we think that is overkill for most businesses.
Regardless of the pricing involved, your best bet is to use a law firm that focuses its practice on intellectual property and has a long track record in filing trademarks applications.
Other Trademark Fees
Fees for Trademark Abandonment
The USPTO is very strict about its deadlines. If you fail to abide by them, you will be stuck with an abandoned trademark. This can happen if you fail to respond to examining attorneys or if you ignore oppositions to your application. In many instances, you’ll have to start the entire process from the start. If you submit a request in a timely manner, though, the USPTO can revive your application for $100.
Trademark Maintenance Renewal Fees
After registration you are required to periodically renew your trademark registration and pay the associated government filing fees. Between the 5th and 6th years after registration you will need to file a Section 8 renewal and you should also file a Section 15 request for incontestability.
Between the 9th and 10th years after registration you will again need to renew your trademark and pay the required government filing fee. Thereafter, your trademark registration must be renewed every 10 years after registration. If the documents aren’t submitted on time, you have a six-month grace period. Paying during this time will result in additional fees.
Another trademark fee that’s often overlooked is that of monitoring. To maintain trademark rights, you must police misuse of your trademark. For all important trademarks we suggest that our clients utilize a trademark monitoring service. These services track and notify you of infringements so you can take appropriate action.
While trademark owners can monitor misuse of their trademark on their own with use of things like google alerts, a service is required to monitor trademark application filings. On your own you can also do your own google searches, review industry journals, breaking news, Amazon listings and other databases.
To track all new trademark filings we utilize a trademark service that provides a 20% discount which we pass along to our clients. Just be sure that you don’t get caught by scam artists as warned by the USPTO including with suspicious trademark notices. Never respond to unsolicited trademark notices – even
those that appear official – without first verifying their authenticity.
For further questions about trademark fees, please feel free to contact us at any time.