Deciding to pursue an international trademark is a critical investment for any expanding business. As a company based in Australia, you may be feeling the confines of working solely within the mainland, or perhaps you are doing business across borders without the security that a trademark registration provides. If you are looking to expand your company into the United States, a registration can bring several benefits: international brand protection, product security, and infringement deterrent are just a few examples of the advantages provided by an American trademark. That being said, it is just as important to take into account the costs associated with obtaining an American trademark.
What does an application cost?
All American trademark applications must be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, where they undergo a review process prior to registration. Trademarks represent the goods and services that the applicant plans to offer, and these are separated by designated classes within the application that cost $275 USD individually. Each of the 45 classes represent a different category of products or service offerings, and the cost associated with filing an application depends on the number of classes the application has. For example, if you were to file an application for clothing and a downloadable application, that would be two different classes and require a payment of $550 USD.
Once an application is submitted to the USPTO, additional expenses can still be incurred. If your application was submitted with an intent-to-use basis because your business has not yet started operating in the American marketplace, there will be additional fees for a proof of use filing in order for the application to register. The government fees for this filing will run $100 per class. Should you apply with an in-use basis or on the basis of an Australian application, a statement of use filing is not necessary—however, your application may still need a response to a refusal or additional filings, which may also require additional payment.
Do I need to work with an American attorney?
Beginning in August 2019, the USPTO put in place the requirement that all foreign-domiciled applicants must hire a US-based trademark attorney. All companies that have a permanent legal residence or principal place of business outside of the United States are considered foreign; as an Australian applicant, the costs of hiring an American attorney must also be factored into your intellectual property planning.
Regardless of the fact that hiring an American lawyer is mandatory, there are several key benefits to having an attorney by your side when entering the application process. Even if your company has already obtained an Australian trademark, the US application is likely to vary in its technical requirements, nuances that an experienced attorney can help you overcome. Additionally, having an attorney assist with the submission of your application greatly increases its chances of registration without a refusal, saving you both time and money, greatly simplifying a complex process.
Different attorneys will quote varying prices for their services—but at Gerben Intellectual Property, we offer a flat legal fee of $950 to cover a comprehensive trademark search and the filing of your application.
Factoring legal fees into your trademark budget can buy much more than just the required American counsel: it can create peace of mind that your application is as complete and well-rounded as possible, ensuring that you have given yourself the best chance of success in obtaining a registration.
Overview of Application Costs
Ultimately, your total costs for an American trademark application can vary depending on a multitude of factors. The number of classes for which you apply, as well as your selected attorney’s legal fees, will contribute greatly to the total amount. For those concerned with keeping costs low, choosing an attorney to represent your business that adheres to a flat fee model and eliminates hidden costs is imperative.
If you are interested in submitting a trademark application for a legal fee of $950 plus government fees of $275 per class, reach out to an attorney at Gerben Intellectual Property for a free consultation. Expanding your intellectual property portfolio beyond borders is an intricate process that only experienced legal counsel can truly understand; make sure that the attorney assisting with your endeavor is knowledgeable and transparent about the process every step of the way.