Most entrepreneurs and small business owners are well aware of the benefits of registering a trademark for their products and services. Even in light of the legal protections and peace of mind offered by a trademark, however, some people may still be concerned about the cost of filing a trademark application.
Why? Perhaps they aren’t sure what government fees will apply to them – or even what those fees are. Maybe they’re concerned about so-called “hidden fees” charged by a trademark service provider– fees that they don’t find out about until they’re handed a bill. It could even be that these proprietors simply aren’t sure if it’s worth it for them to take the time and steps necessary to obtain a trademark.
That being said, the protections and privileges that a trademark registration offers far outweigh any of those concerns.
If you’re retaining an attorney for your trademark filing, you’ll be concerned about two figures: the cost of filing the application itself (paid to the U.S. government), and the cost for the attorney’s services: research, consultation, time to file the trademark, and so on.
The cost of the federal filing is $275 per class of goods. So, for instance, if you’re looking to trademark a name that represents a clothing line, brand of jewelry and brand of purses, the US Government filing fee will be $275 for each of those product categories or “classes” (as they are called by the United States Patent and Trademark Office). In certain specialized cases, that filing fee may be reduced to $225 per class, rather than $275, and that’s something that your trademark attorney can look into on a situational basis.
When it comes to pricing an attorney’s services, if you research five different law firms, you’ll probably get five different figures.
At Gerben Law Firm, your cost will be a flat fee $950 for any trademark search and application. That covers thorough research of your desired trademark, consultation time, and the time and logistics required to prepare and file the trademark application itself – paperwork, usage examples, and so on. This flat fee also covers responses to any non-substantive Office Actions, which are queries from the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
Consultation time is built into the rate as well, and so is a second trademark search process should your initial request turn up a potential conflict. The items that could end up costing you a little bit more include if you are not yet selling your goods and/or services at the time your filing is made (which make it necessary to file a ‘proof of use’ about one year after the filing of the initial application), or, if there is a conflict between your trademark and that of another company.
Total Cost to File a Trademark:
Provided that you are selling your goods at the time of the trademark filing, your total cost of registering a trademark will be the flat legal fee of $950 and US Government filing fee of $275 per class. Therefore, for a single class application the total cost of the process will be $1225.
Potential Additional Costs Associated with a Trademark Registration:
That all being said, let’s take a look at some of the complexities of the filing process, and how they can affect that fee. In the interest of providing maximum transparency to what – like any bureaucratic process – can sometimes seem opaque and convoluted, we’ll examine some common situations that people who file and obtain trademarks might encounter.
As mentioned, the cost of filing will change a bit if you are not selling your goods and/or services at the time of filing – that is, you haven’t actually offered your product or service for sale yet. If that’s the case, you will need to begin offering your product or service for sale within 1 year of the filing , and, there will be an additional cost for the paperwork to verify that. That’s an additional $100 per class filing fee to the U.S. government, and a flat $250 legal fee wherein the details and proof of your trademark in commerce will be assembled and submitted to the USPTO – a total of $350 for a single class application.
Two areas where it’s a bit more difficult to provide an across the board rate without the full details of the services required are in trademark renewals, and in responding to – or initiating – opposition proceedings, or refusals to register due to a third party conflict, descriptiveness concern, or, genericness concern issued by the USPTO.
Should you require assistance in these areas, however – whether it’s with a trademark you’ve held for some time, or with a trademark that you filed with the help of Gerben Law Firm – we are always happy to look at your situation and provide a quote. Once you contact us with your needs and you get that quote, you can expect the same level of service and satisfaction.
Trademark Costs After a Registration is Obtained:
Finally, you might have some questions about your responsibilities once your trademark has been successfully registered. Specifically, the USPTO requires the trademark holder to monitor and police the protection of their mark – meaning any unauthorized use or “genericization.” The USPTO will handle claims to put a stop to unauthorized use, but it’s up to you as the trademark holder to be aware of it.
Should you require assistance on that front, Gerben Law Firm offers Trademark Monitoring Services for a flat rate of $395 per year. That fee covers monitoring all new USPTO filings so that we can promptly notify you of any potentially infringing marks, as well as staying aware of any renewal deadlines on your mark – with or without a government filing. We’ll also make sure that you yourself are using your mark properly and in compliance with USPTO requirements. You’ll get a quarterly report detailing the monitoring steps we’ve taken and any further action required on your part.
The flat rate pricing model on all of our trademark filing services will ideally serve well to alleviate those doubts that you may have had about the cost to file for your trademark registration. Should you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to get in touch.
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