The cost to register a federal trademark in the United States normally involves
- Fees paid to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (sometimes called “costs” or “official fees”); and
- Fees paid to a trademark attorney who takes care of the process and helps you avoid mistake that would limit the usefulness of your trademark.
You can also register a trademark in most U.S. states. A state registration is easier and less expensive, but is also less useful. Given the ubiquity and visibility of the Internet, most business owners will be much better off seeking a federal trademark registration.
You can only register a trademark for the specific goods and services that you plan to use that trademark with. All goods and services are divided into 45 classes. The USPTO has a pre-set list of specific goods and services, or you can enter them in any text you choose.
The government fees to file a new trademark application are either $ 225 per class if you choose your goods and services from the pre-set list, file electronically, and follow some other rules; or $ 275 per class if you want to enter exactly the text you choose.
For example, if you want to register your trademark for jewelry (Class 14) and clothing (class 25), then the government fee would normally be $ 550. You pay that fee directly to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the time that you apply for the trademark.
Attorney fees are an additional cost. Most attorneys will prepare and file a trademark application for a flat fee that is normally between $ 300 and $1000. Applications with multiple classes may be more. You generally get what you pay for. Low-cost online services may not even have a lawyer review your application–they just fill in the forms for you.
After you file your application, it will be examined by a Trademark Examiner (also called an Examining Attorney). The examiner will frequently issue an official letter (called an Office Action) refusing your application. Some refusals are easy to overcome; some are very difficult to overcome and require legal research and preparing formal legal arguments.
There are no government fees required to respond to an Office Action. If you are using an attorney to help you, the attorney may charge between $ 200 and $ 2,000 or more to respond to an office action.
Your trademark application can be filed based on your having already used the mark to sell goods or services, or on your intent to sell them in the future. If you haven’t yet sold anything under the trademark, then you will normally need to file a Statement of Use at the end of the application process, normally about 9-12 months after filing the application.
The government fee to file a Statement of Use is $ 100 for each class of goods or services in the application.
The attorney fees to prepare and file a Statement of Use vary, but are normally between $250 and $700, depending on the number of classes in the application and how difficult it was to obtain and prepare images showing your use of the trademark.
You can delete classes from the application at any time, but the USPTO does not refund any of the filing fees that you paid.
Some attorneys will also charge for the time spent reviewing your questions, advising on strategy, reporting status of your application, reviewing the finished registration certificate, and for other communications with you. These charges can add up, so that the total cost to obtain a trademark registration can reach $ 5,000 or in some cases, although that should be rare.
Our office provides “flat fee” trademark applications. Drop me a note if you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not charge for responding to minor office actions, for reporting application status or publication, or for sending the final certificate of registration. We have assisted clients with more than 3,000 trademarks.