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A common question many startups and small business owners ask is how much will it cost them to get a trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the USPTO).

Generally speaking, most applicants will spend several hundred dollars on the application, plus additional fees for lawyers and search companies. In this post we will break that down.

USPTO Application Fee

Depending on which application you file, you will likely pay $225, $275, or $325. The cheapest option, $225, is only available if you use the USPTO’s online application process and agree to use a pre-approved goods/services description. In most situations, you will be able to do that.

If you cannot use a pre-approved goods/services description, then you will most likely end up paying $275. To get that rate, you must agree to use the online application process, but most people prefer that anyway. However, if you need to file using a paper application, then you will pay the highest rate, $325.

Keep in mind, however, that if you file an Intent to Use Application (sometimes called a 1(b) application), then you must pay an additional $100 at a later date when you file your Statement of Use (evidence showing actual use of your mark in commerce).

Trademark Search Fees

Although you can perform your own trademark search, you are usually better off using professional help to make sure you have superior rights in the mark you want to register. Sometimes the attorney helping you file the application has the tools necessary to perform the search. But other times they will recommend a third party perform the search. In either event, it is likely to cost you at least $300 to obtain a professional trademark search and sometimes a lot more depending on what you want to search.

Although it can be expensive, performing a search is a good idea because it can prevent a lot of headaches down the road if you try to protect a mark which someone else is already claiming.

Trademark Attorney Fees

You will also likely want to hire an attorney to assist with your search and your application. There are many benefits to hiring an attorney to help. First, an attorney can help you decide whether you can even protect your mark in the first place (because some marks cannot be registered). Second, they know the ins and outs of the application and can increase your odds of getting the application approved. Third, they understand what to look for in a trademark search and might spot something you might miss. Fourth, if your application is denied, you will absolutely want legal assistance to respond to the denial and having an attorney assist you from the start will be better than bringing in an attorney later. And there are more benefits, but that’s for another post.

So what will they charge? It depends. Some will charge you over $1,000, while many will charge you less depending on the work load involved. For example, at mightymarks.com we charge a $495 fixed fee to provide counsel, research, an opinion, and to draft the application.

The Total Cost

In the end, if you obtain a professional search and get legal help, you will likely spend between $750 and $1,500 to get your application drafted and filed. But also note that if the application is denied, most attorneys will charge extra for time spent handling an appeal (if you appeal).

Want to Get Started?

If you want to file a federal trademark application, we can help! Just head over to mightymarks.com to learn more.


Image: Adobe/gustavofrazao
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.

When you need a trademark attorney there are plenty of places to look. And whether you find your attorney through the Yellow Pages or word of mouth, there are things you can do to ensure you find a quality person or firm to represent you.

Referrals

To find the right trademark attorney to represent you, a referral is one of the most reliable ways to locate the professional who will represent you and help you achieve a happy result from your trademark application. A referral from a friend or coworker is one of the most reliable ways to find an attorney. It is also possible to call a business owner and find out who they used for their trademark services.

Search Online

You should also search the Internet for potential attorneys and other online trademark tools. For instance, new startups have sprung up in recent years (like us, for example) that provide trademark application services through the Internet.

And, obviously, you can learn a lot about an attorney through his or her website. Be sure that the attorney you hire really does practice trademark law and doesn’t just list it as one of many practices in which they work. If they list it as a practice, but don’t discuss trademarks elsewhere on their site, then they might be a bad choice.

Bar Associations

Another way to get a reliable referral is to call a lawyer referral service which is usually associated with the local State Bar Association. This kind of service can help link potential clients with the attorneys who practice a particular kind of law.

Additional Tips

Before hiring an attorney, it is best to find out all you can about them, and if possible, to meet them in person. When you meet or speak with the lawyer, also find out if they plan to handle your case personally, or if they plan to farm it out to a subordinate. Lastly, be sure to discuss the fees the application will entail, if they will have an hourly fee, a fixed fee, or some other method for handling the case, and find out if there will be other fees associated, such as filing fees and similar expenses.

If you are seeking help with your trademark application, you should check out our innovative and flat fee services at MightyMarks.com!


Image: Thinkstock/wowomnom
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.

It’s no surprise that many business owners want to obtain trademark protection for their name or logo without paying large fees for an attorney to handle the matter. However, as with many areas of the law, a properly qualified attorney can make a world of difference to the business owner if they are trying to protect their brand. In this post we will discuss the pros and cons of engaging a trademark lawyer and show you what you should expect if you do hire a trademark attorney.

Please note that, at least with trademark law, we always advise that you use the services of an attorney. But since we know many people try to go it alone, we want to provide some basic information to help you make decisions. However, you shouldn’t rely on this post as a replacement for an attorney!

Understanding Trademark Law

The first thing to consider is whether you understand how trademark law works. Knowing the difference between common law and federally registered marks, the geographic scope of protection, the first use doctrine, arbitrary v. descriptive marks, and what a court might consider “confusingly similar,” are all important when seeking to protect your mark.

Before paying an application fee, you should consider the strength of your mark, potential infringers, and whether you are infringing the rights of others. Without understanding the above elements, it is hard to really understand your rights.

A trademark attorney’s knowledge and experience is probably the number one reason you should hire an attorney to help with your application.

Trademark Search

Assuming you are past the first consideration above, you should conduct a trademark search. You should start by searching public records such as the USPTO principal registry, Secretary of State records, news papers, magazines, and the internet. However, that process takes a lot of time and knowing where and what to search can be complicated.

An attorney can help you perform a search but there are also third party services that can provide these services for you. Of course, you’d still have to interpret the results, but you can perform and/or order one of these searches without an attorney.

Federal Trademark Application

The online USPTO trademark application is, for the most part, easy to fill out and you can complete most of it on your own. However, there are some questions to which your answers are really important and, while the form might “accept” your answer, when it gets in front of the examiner you may run into some issues.

For example, making sure you choose the proper class and goods/services description and including proper specimens causes hang-ups for a lot of applicants. Further, understanding what prior marks might cause you problems and knowing how and what to disclaim can be confusing.

So, while you can do it on your own, if you make a mistake you won’t learn about it for over three months and even then, it might be too late to correct the mistake.

Federal Trademark Denial & Appeal

The USPTO denies a lot of applications (you can read about how to respond to a denial here). Sometimes you can easily overcome an objection for small things like submitting a better specimen, but sometimes it is more complicated than that. In many cases, an attorney will be almost necessary to draft a proper response.

What You Should Do

If you are trying to skip hiring an attorney due to high fees, you should investigate new, alternative, options. For example, our trademark service is fast and efficient and it won’t break your bank. Most importantly, when you use Mighty Marks® you get the services of an actual attorney, not just a website app.

And if you have any questions about hiring us to help you with your mark, please contact us!


*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.