Probably the most common question that I get from prospective clients is: "How much does it cost to trademark a name?"
At the Law Office of Xavier Morales, we offer a Comprehensive Trademark Search & Filing Package which includes both the Trademark Search to make sure there are no conflicts or issues with your name, logo or slogan, and the preparation and filing of your Trademark Application. We charge a flat-fee of $895 (plus the government filing fee of $350 per class) for our trademark service. Accordingly, the total cost for our Comprehensive Trademark Search & Filing Package would be approximately $1,245 for a trademark in one class.
Let's look at the breakdown:
|Government Filing Fee (per class)||$350|
|Attorney Search & Filing Fee||$895|
The Trademark Search Fees
The first step of the trademark process is conducting the trademark search, which will make sure that there are no conflicts with any other prior-existing trademarks or businesses. If you hire a trademark attorney to conduct the trademark search for you and provide you with a written legal opinion, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 and up.
While there are some services out there that claim to provide a trademark search service for under $300, you should be very careful with such services because, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” The Trademark Search is usually the most important step in the trademark registration process, and that is not something you want to cut corners on, especially as a first time applicant.
You want to make sure the trademark search is comprehensive, and conducted by a licensed trademark attorney. This will ensure that you get the best possible legal advice on whether you should proceed with the name, logo or slogan that you have chosen, or whether you should change the name, logo or slogan due to a potential trademark conflict with someone else’s trademark.
The last thing you want to happen is to get sued for trademark infringement in federal court. Remember, it's possible that someone else has already thought of the name, logo or slogan that you're interested in (or something very similar to it), and it's possible that they have already filed a trademark application for it as well. Be smart, and get the trademark search conducted by a professional trademark attorney.
The Trademark Application Fees
Of course, the trademark search costs only represent half of the answer to the question of "How much does it cost to trademark a name?" Once the trademark search has been conducted and no problems or issues have been found, the next step would be to prepare and file the trademark application. A licensed trademark attorney can charge anywhere from $200 and up for this service.
Additionally, upon filing your trademark application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will charge you a government filing fee of at least $350 and sometimes more, depending on how the application is filed, and how many classes of goods/services are listed in the application. In most cases, the government filing fee is $350 per class of goods or services - each class after that will come with an additional fee.
And what are these "classes" of goods or services? The Trademark Office has 45 different classes of goods and services, which cover every type of business, ever type of service, and every type of product imaginable. For example, dietary supplement products are classified in Class 005; software products and classified in Class 009; jewelry products are classified in Class 014; clothing products are classified in Class 025; retail store services are classified in Class 035; financial services are classified in Class 036; plumbing services are classified in Class 037; and restaurant services are classified in Class 043.
So let's say you own a restaurant with the name "BILLY BOB'S", and let's say you also want to start a clothing line with the same name as the restaurant. In that case, if you want federal trademark protection for the restaurant services class (which is Class 043) and the clothing products class (which is Class 025), you would have to pay a government filing fee of $550 for the two classes (since the standard fee is $350 per class).
Nevertheless, I should note that most businesses file their trademark application in just one class. Accordingly, the vast majority of trademark applicants simply pay the government filing fee of $350 for one class of goods or services. Pending your business, you may need multiple classes to fully protect your intellectual property, which will bring additional costs.
Trademark Maintenance Fees
Are there any other fees that can be expected throughout the trademark registration process? For certain trademark applications, the U.S. Trademark Office may require the applicant to file what’s called a “Statement of Use”. A Statement of Use is simply a declaration or sworn statement from the applicant that they have actually started using their trademark in business. The United States Patent and Trademark Office charges a fee of $100 per class of goods/services for filing the Statement of Use.
However, it should be noted that only an applicant who is not actually using their trademark at the time of the filing of their trademark application would be required to file a Statement of Use. If you are already using your trademark in business at the time of the filing of your trademark application, then you would not have to file the Statement of Use, and you would not have to pay the fee for the Statement of Use. Additionally, even if a Statement of Use were required in your case, you would not be required to file the Statement of Use until about a year after you file your trademark application. The Trademark Office would notify you when the Statement of Use is due.
Once your trademark is registered, you will also have to maintain your trademark registration to avoid cancellation. For instance, after 5 years of registration, you will have to file a “Declaration of Continued Use”, in which you submit proof to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that you are still using your trademark in commerce. The government filing fee for the Declaration of Continued Use is $100 per class of goods/services. Additionally, after 9 years of registration, you will be required to renew your trademark registration by filing an Application for Renewal. The government filing fees associated with the Application for Renewal usually total $500 per class of goods/services.
What About Foreign Businesses?
There are three types of US trademark registrations for foreign businesses. Applications based on a Foreign Application, on a Foreign Registration, or on the Madrid Protocol. Please refer to this article for more information on trademarks and the application process for foreign businesses.
Feedback from Clients
I am very glad that I chose to file my trademark with Xavier. With a limited budget, I was seeking to find an online service which would help me to navigate the trademark process efficiently and economically. I am fortunate to have found secureyourtrademark.com. First, I found a lot of helpful information in the blog and soon after, I began the process to register. Working with Xavier has been quick and efficient. I was able to complete the trademark process in about 8 months. Thanks Xavier!
5 / 5 stars
Founder & CEO of Ideal Grain Free Granola
Answering that question will depend on the amount of time you have as well as your ambition. If you are only going to be running the business for a few years and you have no plans of expanding beyond your town, then a trademark may not be necessary. However, if you own a business that offers goods or services, and you are in it for the long term and wish to stand out from the crowd, then registering a trademark for your business name is practically essential. Read more here.
Unfortunately, many small business owners fail to take the time to determine whether the name they have chosen for their product or business is actually available for them to legally use. If you’re a small business owner and you want to eliminate the chance of having to deal with any future costly trademark disputes, it’s highly recommended that you take the time to file an application and register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Although not required, it can be helpful to hire a private trademark attorney who can help you throughout the entire trademark registration process.
As soon as you start using your mark in commerce, you establish what is known as “Common Law Trademark Rights.” But in total, it will take 13 – 18 months for an official trademark registration with the USPTO. Read more here.