April 26, 2019

How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Name

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It can cost as little as $225 or as much as $2,000 to file a trademark. It depends on the number of classes you need the trademark in and the method in which you register.

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While the costs can vary and sometimes even get steep, a trademark can prevent many headaches and financial issues down the road. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) makes it easy to register a trademark today, but doing so without an attorney is risky business. You may want to consider the use of a trademark attorney so that you know the trademark search was effective and accurate.

Keep reading to learn just how much registering a trademark can cost.

The Cost of Trademark Filing

You have three options when you apply for a trademark:

  1. TEAS Plus: The Trademark Electronic Application System offers a streamlined application process, which also has the lowest fees. It costs $225 per class of goods/services for your trademark. In order to use the streamlined process, you must agree to communicate solely online and you must choose an ID for your product/service from the TEAS Trademark ID Manual.

  2. TEAS Reduced Fee: Also known as the TEAS RF Program, this application system is also online, but offers a little more flexibility. In exchange for that flexibility, you pay $275, rather than $225. You don't have to choose from the predetermined trademark IDs for your product/service. You also don't have to pay the filing fee upfront.

  3. TEAS Regular: The most costly way to file for a trademark is via paper/mail. Because of the work involved, this method costs $400. This method also takes the longest to complete.

The Cost of the Trademark Search
Technically, you can conduct your own trademark search on the USPTO website, but they don't recommend it. There are numerous factors that go into whether a trademark of your name, logo, or any other options already exists.

Using an experienced and reputable attorney can help reduce the risk of legal issues down the road. Trademark attorneys typically include the trademark search in their "package of services," which can run you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

The Cost of Trademark Maintenance Fees

Once you have an approved trademark, you must continue to use it in commerce. If you don't use it, you must provide the details of the special circumstance in order to keep the trademark. In addition, you must file certain paperwork in order to keep your trademark going.

How long does a trademark last?
Technically, a trademark lasts for 10 years. At the halfway point, though, you have to declare that you are still actively using the trademark. At the 10-year mark, you must renew your trademark. This is the same for the 20-, 30-, and 40-year mark as well.

The paperwork doesn't start until you've had the trademark for 5 or 6 years. In that time, you must complete the Section 8 Declaration. This statement costs $125 per class (if your trademark is in more than one class, then you pay it multiple times). The statement is the official document that proves that you are using the trademark or provides the reason why you aren't using it.

Technically, you have until the start of the 6th year of owning the trademark to complete the Section 8 Declaration, but the USPTO does give you a 6-month grace period if you miss that deadline. It costs you an additional $100 per class to file it during the grace period, though.

Does it cost money to cancel a trademark?
You can voluntarily cancel your trademark at no cost. You must complete the Surrender of Registration for Cancellation in order to start the process. You can cancel the trademark in all classes registered or just a few of them, leaving the others untouched.

The Cost of Trademark Renewal

Once you own your trademark for 10 years, it's time for renewal. You should start this paperwork between the 9th and 10th year of owning the trademark.

You must again complete the Section 8 Declaration, but you must also complete the Section 9 Renewal Application. The combination of the Section 8 and Section 9 Declarations costs $425 per class to file.

You have the same 6-month grace period if you miss the deadline to file your Section 8 and Section 9 Declarations. It costs $100 per Declaration to file within the grace period, though.

Is there an annual fee for trademarks?
Luckily, there aren't any fees in between the time that you register your trademark and the 5th year when you must declare that you still use the trademark. You don't have to pay any type of annual fee to have a trademark.

If you have a company name and logo that you use together, you might consider filing for one trademark. This could be a mistake, though.

What if you wanted to use your name separate from your logo at some point? It wouldn't be trademarked if you did this and had filed only one trademark application.

Rather than taking that chance, it's worth it to spend the money on trademarking the name and logo separately. Yes, you'll incur higher charges because you now have to pay the fees twice, but it will protect you in the end.

The method that you choose to file your trademark will determine the cost, but it will cost between $225 and $400 for the filing itself. Remember, you have to multiply this by two. If you use an attorney, you'll also have to pay the appropriate attorney fees.

The Cost to Trademark a Slogan
You might think that the cost to trademark a slogan would be more than a trademark for a name or logo. After all, a slogan is longer, but the price remains the same. Just keep in mind that if you have a name, logo, and slogan, you must file three separate trademark registrations. This means you pay the $225 to $400 three times.

Bottom Line

Registering a trademark does require more fees, but it's better than dealing with conflicts down the road. If you want to keep your company's name, logo, or slogan protected, you'll need to register for a trademark and continue to renew it every 10 years that it's in use.

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