What does a trademark application cost? After you have established a small business, the next step is creating a word, memorable phrase, symbol, or design that customers can associate with your brand. This design is called a trademark, and to protect your intellectual property, you will need to register your mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
A common question when applying for a trademark is how much will a trademark application cost? Let's explore this question and review some general information about trademark applications.
How Much Does a Trademark Application Cost?
Once you have developed a distinct design that represents your business, you will need to trademark it so your design cannot be copied or used without your permission.
Trademarks can be registered by applying to USPTO and paying a fee. If your application is approved, your trademark will be registered, and your intellectual property will be protected from replication or distribution without your permission.
Seeking assistance from an intellectual property lawyer or a trademark lawyer to complete the trademark application is highly encouraged. There are several types of applications available, and each application has specific requirements. If even one requirement is neglected, your application can be rejected. The application process can take over a year , so you must ensure that your application is submitted correctly.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a trademark application is $750 - $1,500 .
A knowledgeable trademark application lawyer can also assist with preliminary tasks like running a trademark search and determining what kind of trademark you want to register. Standard character trademarks and special form trademarks are two options, but they both require different applications and provide you with different protections.
Trademark application costs will vary depending on the type of mark you are registering and the type of application you are submitting. Lawyer fees associated with preparing the application will vary based on your location, the fee structure used by the attorney, and the attorney's level of experience.
What's Typically Included in a Trademark Application
There are several types of available trademark applications, and what is included in each one will vary. The following basic information is standard in most trademark applications:
- Applicant Contact Information: The applicant is the trademark owner, and their name and address need to appear on the application. Applicants can be individuals or business entities.
- Applicant Legal Entity and Citizenship: If the applicant is a business, the type of entity ( LLC , Corporation, Partnership) should be specified. If the applicant is an individual, they need to list their citizenship. Applicants do not need to be US Citizens to apply for a trademark in the United States.
- Contact Information for Correspondence: If you have hired an attorney to assist with your trademark application, you can provide their contact information and select them as a representative to communicate with USPTO on your behalf.
- A Picture or Drawing of the Proposed Trademark: Your application needs to include the mark you are seeking to register. If it is a word or phrase, then it is a standard mark, and the word or phrase just needs to be typed out. If there are design elements like a specific color or font, it is a special form trademark, and you need to submit a detailed drawing.
- A Description of the Mark: Descriptions are only required for special form trademarks. Your description should include the design elements, color, or font associated with your mark.
- Goods and Services Associated with the Mark: You are required to submit a list of all the goods and services that you wish to associate with your mark so that you receive protection for each one. Goods and services should be described in a specific, concise way. Avoid terms that are either too vague, like "accessories," or phrases that are too specific and overly technical.
- The International Classes of Goods and Service: Goods and services are divided into 45 separate classes. You will need to assign classes to each of the goods and services you plan to use with your trademark.
- Declaration: The declaration or verified statement testifies to the truthfulness of the application. In most cases, the application needs to be signed by either the applicant or the representative, the attorney who prepared the application.
Before beginning the application process, you must ensure that your design is original and doesn't unintentionally copy any currently registered trademark. Registered trademarks are considered intellectual property and are protected under United States laws. If your design is too similar to a trademark already in use, your application will be denied.
USPTO has a Trademark Electronic Search System on its website available for public use. Searches are complicated and can be time-consuming. They are generally broken down into two types.
- Knock-out Search: A knock-out search is the first search you should conduct. It is done using the Federal Trademark Register through USPTO. A knock-out search will search for both registered trademarks and those in the application process.
- Full Search: A full search is usually conducted by a searching firm using computer software to run an extensive trademark search. This search will reveal identical and close variations of registered trademarks. You will need an intellectual property lawyer to conduct and organize this search for you. A full search often returns hundreds of pages of data.
Examples of When You May Want to Apply for a Trademark
If you have a business and would like a word or design to represent your brand, you will want to apply for a trademark. Registering your trademark not only protects your intellectual property from use without your permission, but it also protects you from infringing on someone else's already registered mark. Several benefits come along with trademark registration, including:
- Legal protection from someone else copying or using your trademark
- Protection from accidental infringement on someone else's mark
- Your business is the only company allowed to use your registered trademark
- You can use the registered trademark symbol, which makes your company look professional
- Federally registered trademarks can also be used for foreign trademark filing
Drafting a Trademark Application Cost
Hiring an attorney to draft a trademark application on your behalf will come with costs because it requires the time of an intellectual property or trademark attorney specializing in this field.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average trademark application drafting costs to be $750 - $1,500 across all states.
USPTO Trademark Application Cost
Application filing fee costs vary based on the type of application that is submitted to USPTO. The filing fee will also increase based on the number of classes of goods and services in the application.
TEAS Plus Trademark Application: Minimum filing fee of $250
- More initial requirements than the TEAS Standard
- Description of goods and services must be selected from a preset list
TEAS Standard Trademark Application: Minimum filing fee of $350
- Option to use custom language on the application
How Do Lawyers Charge for a Trademark Application?
Intellectual property lawyers can charge for services in different ways. Depending on the complexity of the application, the lawyer will usually provide the client with fee options.
Hourly Rates for Trademark Applications
It is not uncommon for trademark lawyers and intellectual property lawyers to bill their time hourly. The attorney will provide the client with their hourly rate and log any time spent on the case or project. The client will then be billed for the number of hours the attorney logs.
This is usually the most efficient way for an attorney to charge clients. The attorney is covered if the project takes more time than expected. Client's may be apprehensive about hourly rates because they will not know the total cost of legal services until the job is complete.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average hourly rate for an intellectual property or trademark lawyer ranges from $250 - $400 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Trademark Applications
A flat fee billing structure is another way that an attorney can charge for legal services. Flat fee rates are becoming more popular for application drafting projects like one would see for a trademark application.
In this fee structure, the attorney provides a flat fee rate to the client for the entire project, in this case, the completion and submission of a trademark application. If the client agrees, they will usually pay the attorney upfront.
Flat fee rates allow the client to know precisely how much a legal project will cost. The client must understand what work the flat fee covers. Is the trademark application filing fee included in the flat fee, or is that an extra expense? If the application is rejected and needs to be revised, will that be covered? These are questions that must be discussed with the attorney before agreeing to a payment structure.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a trademark application costs $750 - $1,500 across all states.
Get Help with a Trademark Application
Do you need help with a trademark application project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from intellectual property lawyers and trademark lawyers to handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.