What Are Trademark Fees?

Trademark fees are the costs associated with filing to legally register a trademark. Selecting and registering a trademark is important as is knowing the proper fees since trademark registration packages can vary in coverage and pricing. You can register your trademark in specific categories, or classes, of goods and services.

Why are Trademark Fees Important?

Trademark fees are set at certain rates which have been estimated to cover future costs. These costs include operating costs and reserve funds. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) increased several trademark fees on January 14, 2017. For example, paper filings have increased anywhere between $75 to $200 per class.

Paper filings take longer to process. One way the USPTO discourages them is slapping on higher fees to file on paper and make any amendments.  Filing on paper will cost you $600, whereas filing online through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) system is $400. If you make a mistake and need to correct it, that'll cost you another $200 (which is double the amount in 2016). It's all the more reason to hire a trademark attorney who can navigate through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Why are Trademark Fees Increasing?

Trademark fees are on the rise due to a record number of applications and subsequent costs needed to process them. The increase also serves to discourage paper filings, which have seen the most significant rates of increase. Finally, the fee increase encourages more efficient processes through filing electronically, updating USPTO systems, and promoting a swift resolution of appeals.

Reasons to Consider Claiming Trademark Rights:

It's always smart to protect the things that identify your brand. If you don't claim trademark rights, another person or company can use your logo, slogan, or other creative marker that customers associate with your brand. Registering notifies the public about your mark via the Principal Register, the official record of all marks in the United States. Upon being granted trademark rights, the owner can use the encircled "r", ( ® ), to indicate the mark is officially registered. Once a mark is on the Principal Register for five years, the owner can file for incontestable use, which means no one can later stop them from using the mark.

Another benefit of filing is protection from counterfeit goods. Once a mark is on the Principal Register, it can be filed with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency to prohibit fake or imitation products.

Reasons to Consider Not Filing Online

When you file online your Trademark Fees will be lower. However, when considering trademark fees you often get what you pay for. Online services may be cheaper, but they may not have a lawyer review your application.

Reasons to Consider Filing Online

Filing an application on paper is considerably more expensive than filing online. An attorney will generally charge a flat fee between $300 and $1000 to prepare and file your trademark application.

What Should Basic Online Packages Include?

  • Filing of trademark application with the USPTO

  • A search for direct conflicts with your trademark in the federal trademark database

  • Digitalization and color adjustment of your trademark design

  • Delivery of your trademark application by email

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will my application take?

You can expect your application to take between 1 and 3 years.

  • What is the filing fee per class of goods/services?

It costs $600 to file on paper, $400 to file online, and $125 for each additional class. Here is the full list of Patent and Trademark Fees.

  • Do I need to provide authorization for the USPTO to send application-related email correspondence?

Yes.

  • What happens if my Trademark Application is refused?

A Trademark Examiner (also called an Examining Attorney) will review your application once it has been filed. If your application is refused, the examiner will most likely issue an official letter called an Office Action. There is no government cost associated with responding to an office action. A lawyer may charge between $200 and $2,000 to respond to the office action depending on the legal arguments, research, and difficulty in overcoming the office action.

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 to respond to an office action. If you need more time to file a notice of opposition, there is a new $100-$200 fee for those who file electronically.

  • What if I haven't sold my product yet?

You will need to file a "Statement of Use" if you have not yet sold anything under your trademark. This happens at the end of the application process (about 7-9 months after filing the application). This government fee is $100 for each class of goods. The attorney fees for a Statement of Use are most often between $250 and $700. This depends on how many classes are in the application. You can remove classes from your application, but you will not receive a refund of any paid filing fees from the USPTO.

Contact an Attorney

Be prepared for annual rate increases and avoid the common mistakes of completing the wrong kind of application or not doing a proper search before you file.

If you need help with Trademark Fees, you can post your question or concern on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.