How Much Does a Trademark Cost?
Check out our guide to determine how much registering for a trademark might cost you.
Having your own unique phrases, designs, or symbols associated with your company is a great way to set it apart from other businesses and make it more recognizable. But before you associate those words or images with your company, you’ll want to protect them and ensure no one else is using something similar. And that’s where trademark registration comes into play.
This process basically involves applying for the rights to that imagery. To do so, you must submit the appropriate applications and pay the fees associated with registering your trademark.
So, how much does a trademark cost? It depends on several factors, but on average, filing for a trademark costs between $250 and $350 per trademark class. Maintaining it will cost an additional several hundred dollars. That said, you may also need to consider the cost of hiring a lawyer and preparing to cover additional fees, like those connected with extensions or abandonment.
Below, we’ll break down some of the costs to give you a better picture of how much you can expect to spend on your trademark.
Breaking Down Trademark Costs?
There is no flat fee associated with registering for a trademark because there are a lot of different factors that will impact the overall price. In our guide, we’ll address trademark filing costs, maintenance fees, and additional rates you might face along the way.
Application Filing Costs
The easiest way to file for a trademark is via the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
This platform gives you two filing options: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard.
Both of these filing options charge per class of goods or services—there are 45 different classifications. If you have more than one good or service in the same class, then you only pay that one fee. But if you have multiple classifications of goods or services, you must submit a separate application and pay for each additional class.
The TEAS Plus option costs $250 per class of goods or services, while the TEAS Standard option costs $350 per class of goods or services.
The Plus option is less expensive per class than the Standard option because it has more up-front requirements. For example, under the TEAS Plus option, a licensed attorney must submit your application. Alternatively, the TEAS Standard choice allows you to complete your application and designate an attorney later. Furthermore, the TEAS Plus option requires you to pay the entire $250 trademark filing cost upon turning in your application, while the TEAS Standard only requires the initial filing fee and lets you pay the rest later in the process.
When choosing your filing option, you’ll also need to select your filing basis, which determines your intent to use the trademark in commerce. There are four options to choose from:
- Use in commerce basis: Your mark is currently in use.
- Intent-to-use basis: You intend to use the mark in the near future.
- Foreign registration basis: You already own a foreign trademark of the same mark.
- Foreign application basis: You already own a foreign trademark that was filed within six months of your U.S. application and want them to share the same filing date.
In addition to the trademark filing costs, you must periodically file documents and pay fees to keep your trademark active. You’ll need to file five years after your initial registration and again in another five years if you wish to keep your trademark. The following are some of the required documents and their associated fees:
- Declaration of use and/or excusable nonuse: Between the fifth and sixth year of your initial registration, you’ll file this document declaring whether the trademark is still in use or not. It costs $225 per class.
- Declaration of use and/or excusable nonuse & application renewal: Your trademark will expire after ten years, so if you want to maintain it, you must file the declaration document and a renewal application in that ninth year. This costs $525 per class.
- Optional declaration of incontestability & declaration of use and/or excusable nonuse: Once you’ve held your trademark for at least five years, you’re eligible to apply for the declaration of incontestability, which strengthens your trademark rights. If you file these two declarations at once, it costs $425 per class.
Depending on your individual circumstance, you may face additional fees associated with filing for a trademark. Some of these extra costs may include:
- Multiple trademark classes: If your trademark spans multiple trademark classes, you’re required to file separate applications and pay fees associated with each one. For instance, if your trademark needs to cover furniture products (Class 20) but also houseware and glass products (Class 21), you’ll need to submit two applications and pay double the class fees.
- Allegation or statement of use: If you filed under the intent-to-use basis, you’re required to submit an additional allegation or statement of use application, costing $100 per class.
- Trademark drawing fees: While it’s not required, if you want to submit a stylized trademark image, you may need to consider the cost of hiring a graphic designer or illustrator to create it for you.
- Grace period fees: You’ll receive a date within that fifth and ninth year when your declaration forms are due. The USPTO does provide a six-month grace period, but you may have to pay an additional $100 or $200 if you submit during that extension.
- Abandonment fees: If you fail to respond to a USPTO request or action, you could face $150 in application abandonment fees.
- Extension request fees: If you haven’t begun using your trademark in accordance with your application, you may need to file for an extension, which costs $125 per class.
- Appeal fees: If your trademark request was denied, there are steps you can take to appeal the decision, but this does cost additional money. Fees will vary based on your circumstances.
- Lawyer fees: While not everyone decides to hire a lawyer, doing so can facilitate the application process. Hiring a lawyer could cost anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars.
Hiring a Trademark Lawyer
You can file for a trademark on your own, but hiring a trademark lawyer can make it easier to navigate some of the red tape associated with registering. Most lawyers will charge a flat rate for running a basic trademark search and submitting your application, plus an hourly fee for responding to USPTO actions. Although hiring a lawyer will cost more than doing it on your own, a professional can be especially helpful when it comes to addressing office actions, rejections, and appeals.
Registering for a trademark doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the fees you may be facing. Consider some of these costs and factor them into your budget so you’re more financially prepared when the time comes to submit your applications.
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