Trademark Lawyer Cost
Perhaps one of the most important steps a person or company can take to protect its brand in the United States is to secure a federally registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Because many of the filing requirements can be easily overlooked it is advisable you seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney, experienced in the procedures of filing trademark applications with the USPTO. Thus, the cost of acquiring federal trademark registration with the USPTO is established based upon the filing fee and the cost of a trademark attorney.
OK, So How Much Does a Trademark Attorney Cost?
The cost of a trademark attorney largely depends on who you hire. Typically, if you use an attorney that is not familiar with the process, they will have to dedicate hours to learning the process, and consequently their fees will be higher. In addition, often these attorneys will charge based on an hourly fee. With hourly fees you’ll submit a retainer and then be billed on a monthly basis. Versus, a trademark attorney can file based on experience, and will be more efficient. In addition, often you can find trademark attorneys who offer services for a flat fee. Further, averages indicate that hiring a trademark can cost $1,000 – $2,000. If you hire our firm we charge $475 to file a trademark under one class.
- $475, plus government fees (plus $99 for any additional classes)
How Much is the US Government Trademark Filing Fee?
The question of whether you need to file a TEAS Plus or regular TEAS trademark application depends on whether your application can meet certain filing conditions, as determined by the USPTO and the U.S. Trademark Act. Below outlines many of those filing conditions. However, because many of the filing requirements can be easily overlooked it is advisable you seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney, experienced in the procedures of filing trademark applications with the USPTO.
- $225 or $275 per class
- So, total with trademark attorney is $700 for one trademark under one class.
Cost to trademark a business name under a TEAS Plus application = $225 per international class
To qualify for a TEAS Plus trademark application, the applicant must meet the necessary filing conditions by submitting with its application the following information:*
- Provide the owner’s name, address, and email;
- Allow the Trademark Office to contact and correspond with you via email;
- Use a description of your goods or services that complies with the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual;
- If the mark identifies a living person’s name, a signed authorization from that person allowing you to use their name.
- If the trademark includes a design, a .jpg of the trademark; and
- If the trademark includes one or more non-English term(s), a translation of those term(s).
* Please note this list is not exhaustive. This means there can be other reasons and/or failures to include certain information that would disqualify you from TEAS Plus Application status. To determine whether you qualify for TEAS Plus application status, it is recommend you contact an attorney prior to filing your trademark.
In the event you attempt to file your trademark application based on a TEAS Plus Application, and the Examiner has determined you have not met the TEAS Plus filing requirements, you will later have the opportunity to pay the additional $50 to amend your application to a regular TEAS Application. However, this will cause a delay in your application and will require a timely response to the Office Action requesting the additional fee before your application can be approved.
Cost to trademark a business name under a TEAS application = $275 per international class
Unlike filing a TEAS Plus trademark application; the regular TEAS Application does not have the same stringent filing requirements. Although you will be required to provide certain information when you file the application, this type of application does not require the above clarifications at the time of filing the application. In addition, a regular TEAS Application allows you to list the goods or services under your own description. However, an Examining Attorney may require you to be more specific with your description in a future Office action.
Section 1(a) actual use trademark application or 1(b) intent to use trademark application?
After you decide to file a TEAS or TEAS Plus trademark application, the USPTO will ask you to clarify your filing basis. Specifically, the USPTO will want to know whether you are filing your trademark application based on actual use of the trademark in commerce or based on a future intent to use the trademark in commerce.
Actual use of a trademark in commerce means you have already used the name in commerce, within the United States, in relation to the goods or services you seek to register your mark. Where you have already used the name in commerce, you will file for a Section 1(a) filing basis. Conversely, if you have not yet used the mark in commerce, you will need to file the application based on Section 1(b) intent to use.
When filing a Section 1(a) application based on use in commerce, the application will not cost you more than the filing fee of $225 or $275. However, where you are not yet using the mark in commerce and have opted to file a Section 1(b) application based on your future intent to use the mark in commerce, there are additional fees. Specifically, the USPTO will charge you an additional $100 to file a Statement of Use or Amendment to Allege Use, which is simply a statement of use and proof of use of your mark. However, this fee will not come due until after you have started use in commerce and want to file your Statement of Use or Amendment to Allege Use.
1(a) = $225 or $275 (depending on TEAS or TEAS Plus)
1(b) = $325 or $375 (filing fee + additional filing requirement and depending on TEAS or TEAS Plus)
Save money by hiring a trademark attorney
According to a study published in Stanford Technology Law Review, and as reported by the Wall Street Journal, trademark applicants are 50% more likely to receive a registration if they use a trademark attorney.
By hiring a trademark attorney and conducting a comprehensive trademark search prior to filing your trademark application you are placing yourself in a much better position than if you were to file the application without having conducted a search. For starters, a comprehensive search can greatly decrease the risk you will receive a rejection from the USPTO (which will result in loss of your $225 or $275 application fee). This decreased risk of receiving an office action in turn decreases the chances that you wasted your time during which your trademark was pending (which can be up to seven months). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a comprehensive search will also drastically help reduce the risk that you infringe on an already registered and conflicting mark. The median price for trademark litigation in 2011 excluding damages was $384,000. As a result, a trademark search is vital in preventing the potential for you or your company to face expensive and unnecessary litigation.
So when thinking of the cost to trademark a business name, thing first of paying an attorney to handle your trademark. Because it can prevent the loss of your Trademark Office filing fees, save you from wasting your time, as well as avoiding unintentional infringement. Increase your odds of trademark registration success and hire a trademark attorney.