Cost of a Trademark / How Much is a Trademark

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*Please see an update to the costs in our new blog post: US Trademark Fees Reduced*

Often, there is a misconception that filing for a U.S. trademark can cost thousands. The reality: you can file a trademark for as little as $275. However, there are some decisions you need to make along the way that can increase this cost, but can also increase your odds of landing a registration.

Filing for Trademark Registration Yourself
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows individuals to apply for trademarks online. This is quite an improvement from the days of paper filings through Certified Mail. The first steps for trademark owners are deciding whether to file a TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System) or TEAS Plus application, as well as whether to file a section 1(a) actual use or 1(b) intent to use application. Here’s where two roads diverge into different trademark costs.

Filing a TEAS Plus Application = $275
In order to qualify under a TEAS Plus application the applicant needs to:
1. Provide name, address, and email (and allow the Office to contact you via email);
2. Use a description of your goods/services that complies with the Office’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual;
3. If the mark identifies a person’s name, a signed authorization from the person to use that name;
4. If including a design, a .jpg of the mark; and
5. If non-english, a translation.
(There are a few others, but these are the main requirements)

Filing a TEAS Application = $325
This type of application does not require the above clarifications. In addition, you may list the goods/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 Application or 1(b) Intent to Use Application
After you decide to file a TEAS or TEAS Plus application, the USPTO will ask you to clarify your filing basis. Actual use means you have already used the name in commerce. If you have already used the name you will file for a 1(a) basis if you have not used the mark you file the application as 1(b). A 1(a) application will not cost you more than the filing fee of $275 or $325. A 1(b) application will cost 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.

1(a) = $275 or $325 (depending on TEAS or TEAS Plus)
1(b) = $375 or $425 (filing fee + additional filing requirement and depending on TEAS or TEAS Plus)

Using an Attorney to Help you File
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. With OnlineTrademarkAttorneys.com you can get a comprehensive trademark search as well as trademark registration for $475 + Govt. fees.

Without a comprehensive trademark search prior to filing you leave yourself open to a rejection from the USPTO (losing your $275 or $325 to the USPTO), a waste of the time in which your trademark was pending (which can be up to seven months), as well as your potential infringement of a conflicting mark. The median price for trademark litigation in 2011 excluding damages was $384,000. As a result, a trademark search is necessary prior to filing.

Paying an attorney to handle your trademark can prevent unintentional infringement, a waste of time, as well as a loss of your USPTO filing fees. In addition, using an attorney increases your odds of obtaining trademark registration.

*Please see an update to the costs in our new blog post: US Trademark Fees Reduced*

If you would like a trademark attorney to handle your registration use OnlineTrademarkAttorneys.com.

Published July 26, 2013 by Brent Sausser.

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