What is the Cost of an Application for Federal Trademark Registration?
--$1,275 for a one-class trademark application
Applying for federal registration of a trademark is, in and of itself, a fairly inexpensive proposition. Typically, the application form is filled out online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website and will take about a half hour to complete. Depending on the type of application, and the applicant’s willingness to conduct future communications with the USPTO, the application filing fees are currently between $225-$400 per class. You must pay this fee for each class of goods and services for which registration is sought.
Of course, filling out the application is merely a single step in the application process. There are additional costs likely to be incurred both before the application is filed as well as afterward. If you consider the cost of the trademark search to be a different service (see the next section below), Tysver Beck Evans typically charges $1,275 for filing a trademark application in a single class, and this includes the government fee for that filing. This fee includes an initial consultation with you regarding trademark rights in general and how to best protect your particular trademark. Part of this consultation will be the selection of the form of the trademark that is to be registered. Frequently there are different ways in which a mark is used in commerce, such as in plain text, in stylized text, and within a larger logo. While you can always file separate trademarks on each of these trademark forms, multiple trademark applications quickly become expensive. Depending on your circumstances, you may be best served to select only a single form for the trademark application. We can help you make this determination. This narrowing down of the number of trademark applications can sometimes save you the amount of our attorney's fees. Of course, it may be that this consultation leads to the conclusion that different applications should be filed on multiple forms of the trademark.
In addition to proper selection of the form of the trademark, it essential to any trademark application that the goods and/or services description associated with the mark is properly tailored (see our guidance on How to correctly identify your goods and services for more information). Not only do you need to accurately describe the goods/services but you must do this with an eye toward your current and future business and product development plans, as well as with an awareness of your competitors. This may take careful consideration and drafting by you and your trademark attorney. This analysis is also included in the $1275 fee.
What are the Costs for a Trademark Search?
--From $0 (no search) to $900 (search is performed)
In many cases, it makes sense to have an attorney conduct a trademark search before filing your application for federal registration. If you choose to have us conduct a search, the cost can vary between $450 and $900. Please see our discussion on Should you conduct a trademark search and if so, when? for more information, including a more detailed discussion of the costs involved.
What are the Costs After filing, but Before Registration?
--From $0 to $3,000
Several months after filing, you or your attorney will likely receive from the USPTO a communication or Office Action that will indicate any objections that the examiner has to your application. For example, the examiner may believe that the mark being applied for is “confusingly similar” to one or more other marks due to its common look, spelling or even its sound (i.e., “sounds alike”). Alternatively, the examiner may find the application to be “merely descriptive,” meaning that the examiner believes that the mark is effectively just a descriptor of the goods/services. For more information on the possible reasons for an office action, see Bitlaw's discussion on registrable trademarks. All of these rejections must be considered, and fully addressed by you or your attorney in the form of a response to the office action. The drafting of such a response may take at least a few hours of time and will likely cost between $1000-$3000. In some cases, multiple office actions may be issued by the reviewing trademark examiner, and each office action must be responded to.
Assuming that the rejections/objections to the mark are successfully overcome, then the mark will proceed to be published. If no objection is filed to the registration of the mark by an existing trademark holder, the mark being applied for will advance to be being allowed and finally registered.
What Additional Costs are Required in Intent-to-Use Applications?
--From $550 to $3,000
Intent-to-use applications (What is an intent-to-use application?) require additional steps in the registration process, which will incur additional costs to the applicant. The most obvious of these additional steps (and of course additional costs) is the filing of the “statement of use” that must be done after the U.S. Trademark Office allows the application. The statement of use provides proof to the trademark office that the mark is now in actual use in commerce. This statement of use requires the submission of a $100 filing fee for each class in your application (How to correctly identify your goods and services), and your attorney will likely charge a fee for creating the statement, organizing the proof of use, and filing this information with the trademark office. At Tysver Beck Evans, this charge is about $450.
After allowance, the trademark office only grants you six months to file the statement of use. If you are not yet using the mark in commerce by that initial six-month deadline, but still have an actual intention to use the mark in the future, you may extend the deadline by another six months through the filing of an extension of time request before the six-month deadline. This extension of time process may be repeated to allow the applicant a total extension period of up to 36 months. Each six-month extension of time requires a form to be filled out (we charge a $300 fee to do this form) and the payment of a $125 filing fee per class (note that this fee, like many others, is significantly increased if the form is not submitted electronically).
If you begin to use the mark during the time it is being examined by the trademark office (before it is allowed), you can file an amendment to allege use to convert the application into an actual use application. The cost for this amendment is the same as the cost to file a statement of use, but you will not have to worry about the extension periods.
What are the Costs after your Trademark is Registered?
--$750 Section 8 & 15 Affidavits (five to six years after registration)
--$925 Renewal (every ten years)
Section 8 Affidavit: Alas, the costs don’t end upon registration. Between the fifth and sixth year anniversary of a mark’s registration, an “Affidavit of Use” under 15 U.S.C. 1058 (aka a “Section 8 Affidavit”) must be filed to prove that the mark is being used in commerce. The Section 8 Affidavit must be filed to maintain your mark’s registration. The government fee is approximately $125 per registration class. Tysver Beck Evans charges a flat fee of $425 for preparing the Affidavit and filing it (in addition to the per-class government fee).
Section 15 Affidavit: In addition, if the mark is registered on the Principal Register, an Affidavit of Incontestability under 15 U.S.C. §1065 (aka a “Section 15 Affidavit”) may optionally be filed on or after the five-year anniversary of the mark. The Section 15 Affidavit is a declaration that the mark has been in continuous use in commerce on or in connection with the goods or services covered in the registration for the five years after the date of registration. The Section 15 Affidavit is NOT required, but it is a good idea to file one if the aforementioned criteria of continuous use can be asserted. The status of “incontestability” that the affidavit bestows provides conclusive evidence of the mark’s registration, ownership, and validity in any subsequent suit for infringement. The cost for filing the Section 15 Affidavit is $200 in government fees per registration class. Typically, the Section 15 Affidavit is filed along with the Section 8 Affidavit. In these circumstances, Tysver Beck Evans does not charge any additional fee for preparing the Section 15 Affidavit beyond the cost of filing the Section 8 affidavit.
Renewal: Following registration, the USPTO requires that the mark be renewed from time to time. The first renewal fee must be paid between the 9th and 10th year following your registration date. Every ten-year period thereafter another renewal fee is due. There is a six-month grace period if you miss the ten-year deadline. Presently the renewal fee is $425 per international class (if filed electronically), and our firm will charge a $500 fee for completing this process for you.
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Guidance on Trademark Applications
These pages provide guidance on filing a federal trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark office. The trademark filing overview page gives a general summary of the guidance available in this section.
What is a trademark and when do you have one?
What is a "Common Law" trademark?
If you have rights without registration, why register?
Video explanation from the US Trademark Office
What is the cost of a trademark application?
What is the cost of a trademark search?
What costs are specific to intent-to-use applications?
What are the costs after your trademark is registered?
When should trademark applications be filed in general?
What is an Intent-to-Use application?
What is an Actual Use application?
What is a trademark search?
What is the cost of a trademark search?
Should you conduct a search?
Do you need an attorney?--Nope.
Why you should hire an attorney anyway
Video explanation from the US Trademark Office
The importance of fully listing goods and services
An Example--selecting your goods and services
The Example Continued--implications of the selection
What is an Office Action?
Common Types of Rejections in an Office Action
Great guidance coming soon
When is a mark confusingly similar to another?
Analyzing whether the rejection is appropriate
Arguments to make in responding to the rejection
What is it mean that a mark is merely descriptive?
What if the mark really is not descriptive?
What is secondary meaning?
Using the Supplemental Register