How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Name

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Written By Brian T. Edmondson, Esq.

Hi, I'm Brian. I'm an internet entrepreneur & lawyer. I write about all things internet business & law.

Hey, it’s Brian. This article is for informational purposes and is NOT legal advice, cool? Onto the article…

When you start a business or create a new product, one of the first things you should consider is protecting your brand. That’s where trademarking comes into play. A trademark is like a guard that keeps your brand safe from misuse or theft by others.

At a minimum, it will cost $250 to register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Costs will increase depending on how many classes you register your mark in and whether you utilize a lawyer to assist with your registration. 

It ensures that only you can use your unique name, logo, or slogan. But, as with most things worth having, this protection comes at a cost. If you’re wondering how much it costs to trademark a name, you’re asking an intelligent question. The price can vary based on several factors, which we’ll dive into. 

This article will break down the costs of trademarking a name, helping you understand what to expect and how to budget for it.

Understanding Trademarks

A trademark is a unique sign identifying certain goods or services produced or provided by a specific person or business. It can be a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, or combination. 

Its main job is to signal the product or service’s source to consumers and distinguish it from competitors’ offerings. Think of it as your business’s signature or a personal stamp that says, “This is mine.”

Benefits of Trademarking Your Name

  • Legal Protection: Trademarks provide legal protection for your brand, preventing others from using a name or symbol that’s too similar to yours.
  • Brand Identity: A trademark helps establish a unique identity for your brand, distinguishing it from competitors in the market.
  • Legal Rights: In case of infringement, owning a registered trademark strengthens your position in legal disputes.
  • Asset Value: Over time, your trademark can become valuable as your brand’s reputation grows, potentially increasing your business’s value.
  • Market Presence: A trademark signals to customers and competitors that you take your brand seriously and are committed to maintaining its integrity.

Breakdown of Trademark Costs

The cost to trademark a name in the United States involves several components. It can vary based on the type of application, the number of classes of goods or services the trademark will cover, and whether you hire a professional to assist with the application process. 

USPTO Filing Fees

TEAS Plus: The filing fee for the application is $250 per class of goods or services. This option requires applicants to agree to communicate electronically with the USPTO and to choose their listing from the pre-approved list of goods and services.

TEAS Standard: The TEAS Standard application has a filing fee of $350 per class of goods or services. This option offers flexibility for those who cannot find an exact match in the pre-approved list, allowing for a custom description of the goods or services.

Trademark Legal Fees

The cost of hiring a trademark attorney can vary widely. For a straightforward trademark application, legal fees can range from $1,500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the complexity of your application and the attorney’s rates.

Additional Trademark Costs

Search Fees: Conducting a thorough search of existing trademarks can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 if you use online services, but hiring a professional to conduct a more comprehensive search can cost $500 or more.

Responses to Office Actions: If the USPTO issues an Office Action, attorney fees for responding can range from $300 to $2,000, depending on the issue’s complexity.

Statement of Use: Filing a Statement of Use incurs a fee of $100 per class if you filed your initial application based on “intent to use.” This fee is in addition to the initial application fee.

Renewal Fees: To maintain your trademark, the fee for filing a Section 8 Declaration is $225 per class, required between the 5th and 6th year after registration. The renewal fee (Section 9 Application) due every ten years is $425 per class.

Factors Influencing Trademark Costs

The cost to trademark a name isn’t one-size-fits-all. Several factors can affect how much you’ll spend. Understanding these can help you plan your budget more accurately.

Type of Trademark Application

  • Federal vs. State Trademark Registration: You can register your trademark at the state or federal levels. State registration is cheaper but offers protection only within that state. Federal registration costs more but protects your trademark nationwide.
  • Standard Character Mark vs. Special Form Mark: A standard character mark protects the wording, regardless of font or style, offering broad protection. A unique form mark protects the logo or styling of your trademark. The choice between these can affect your application strategy and cost.

See also: The Most Common Reasons Your Trademark Application Will Get Rejected

Legal Representation Fees

Whether or not you hire a lawyer can significantly impact your costs. Attorneys can offer valuable advice and increase your chances of success, but they charge for their services. The complexity of your case and the lawyer’s rates will determine how much you’ll pay.

Number of Classes of Goods or Services

Trademarks are registered by class of goods or services. If your business spans multiple classes (clothing and software), you must pay separate fees for each class. The more classes you need, the higher your costs.

Complexity of the Trademark

The complexity of your trademark application can also play a role in the cost. If your trademark is similar to existing ones, proving its uniqueness may require more work and, potentially, more rounds of communication with the USPTO. This can increase your costs, especially when working with an attorney.

The Investment in Trademarking Your Name

Understanding how much it costs to trademark a name is crucial for anyone looking to protect their brand. As we’ve seen, several factors can influence the overall expense, from the type of trademark application you choose to the number of classes of goods or services you need to cover. 

Legal fees and the complexity of your trademark can also affect the cost. Investing in trademark protection is not just about covering a fee; it’s about securing your brand’s identity and ensuring its safety against misuse. 

While the process might seem costly upfront, the protection and peace of mind it offers can be invaluable to your business in the long run. Remember, your brand is not just a name or logo; it represents your reputation, quality, and promise to your customers.