What are the Federal Trademark Registration Costs?
The total overall trademark registration cost should start at around $1,000. Below we’ll discuss the various expenses and fees that make up that federal trademark registration cost.
A Federal Trademark is a brand name, symbol or phrase that identifies and distinguishes a specific service or company from one another. Thus, registering for a Federal Trademark not only protects your brand from being stolen or exploited, but also grants you specific benefits as well.
With that said, depending on the options you choose, federal trademark registration costs vary.
To register your trademark you must apply through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) online application. To ensure the best results, many applicants hire a trademark attorney to help them during the process.
When you register with the USPTO, your trademark is protected throughout the country and gives you the right to sue competitors for infringement of your mark if necessary.
Step 1: Registering through the USPTO
In order to have your trademark registered, you must first apply online or by paper. Below is a list of the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) registration fees:
Trademark Processing Fee Breakdown
TEAS Regular Form is $325 per class of goods/services
TEAS Reduced Fee Form is $275 per class of goods/services
TEAS Plus Form is $225 per class of goods/services
In regards to Reduced and Plus applications, you must meet each application’s unique requirements and file specific submissions online. If not, there’s an additional charge of $50 per class of goods/services.
Though USPTO doesn’t encourage it, you may opt for a paper application. Per international class, paper applications cost $375, which is substantially the most expensive and least efficient option.
Possible Additional Fees
During the application process, you must file a Statement of Use within six months of the Notice of Allowance. If you decide you need to request an extension to show your trademark’s prior usage, there’s an additional charge of $150 per class of goods/services for each six month extension.
Allegation of Usage
If you are instead filing an allegation or statement of use to prove your usage of your trademark, you must include specific dates such as when you first used the mark in commerce, one sample of use for each class, and make a payment of $100 per class.
If an application goes into abandoned status at any time during this process for whatever reason, there will be a fee of $100 in order to continue the application.
Maintenance and Renewal
In order to keep your registration, you must timely turn in all files periodically. If one doesn’t, they will face fines and ultimately, cancellation.
Further, filing a Section 8 declaration during your 5th and 6th years of registration is mandatory. This requirement results in a fee of $100 per class of goods/services.
Also, during your 9th and 10th year of registration, filing both a Section 8 and 9 declaration is mandatory for renewal. If filed online, the combined application is $400 per class of goods/services while it costs $500 for paper filings.
The latter is done every 10 years from the date of your original registration.
USPTO Methods of Payment
You must pay all fees and charges (USD) by Cash, Credit Cards, USPTO Deposit Accounts, Electronic Funds Transfer, Check or Money Orders.
Fees paid to the USPTO are generally NON-REFUNDABLE.
Step 2: Finding and Hiring a Trademark Attorney
Given that the trademark application process can be handled entirely online, you may be wondering why you would need to consult an attorney during this process in the first place.
While hiring a trademark attorney is not required to register your mark, it is certainly encouraged for many of the following reasons.
- Confusing legal jargon
- Understanding search reports
- Preventing mistakes and other liabilities
- Using the correct wording, formatting, and options for your application
- Compliance with strict deadlines and procedures
- Responding to Office Actions
Also, for small business owners, it’s imperative that you not only understand the ins and outs of using your trademark, but it’s also important to make sure you aren’t infringing on anyone else’s mark.
In fact, one of the most important reasons to use an attorney when you file is to help you avoid trademark opposition proceedings, or any potential claim of trademark infringement.
Typically, federal trademark registration costs are cheaper if you hire an attorney at the beginning of the process, rather than in the middle when a problem arises.
Attorney Service Fee Breakdown
Trademark attorney fees can vary widely, but expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $450 an hour. While hourly rates are used on occasion, many trademark attorneys will offer a flat fee for trademark registration services.
That flat fee could range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the scope of your case. Expect your flat fee to be higher in complicated cases where you’re looking to register your trademark in more than one international classification.
Trademark registration attorney fees typically cover the cost of obtaining and reviewing a trademark search report, and then actually registering your trademark.
In sum, expect to pay the following trademark registration cost when you hire your attorney:
Trademark search report = $200 – $800
Attorney fee = $450 – $2000
TEAS plus fee = $225 per class of goods/services
Grand Total = $875 – $3,025 (+$225 per class of goods/services)
While registering for a Federal Trademark may seem a bit layered, it’s nonetheless extremely valuable. Benefits such as complete protection of your brand against competitors make the long, multi-step process worth it.
Also, seeking legal counsel during the registration process not only makes it easier on you but also gives you the best results as well.
Though total costs may seem high, all charges and fees will certainly benefit the success of your business in the long run.