Looking to Save on Trademark Cost? 5 Reasons Why Hiring a Trademark Attorney Saves Time and Money

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Every year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) processes over 450,000 trademark applications.

Trademarks allow business owners to legally identify a product, logo, sign, or expression as theirs. Getting a trademark can be valuable for protecting your valuable creative property!

As essential as trademarks can be, however, they aren't free. You do have to pay to register a trademark of any kind.

How much does a trademark cost? How can you save money on trademarking by working with a U.S. attorney?

In this post, we answer these questions and many more!

How Much Does a Trademark Cost?

When you apply for a trademark, you do so through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO defines a trademark as a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that distinguishes one party's goods from another.

In other words, trademarks legally protect the expression of your creative brand. 

In a competitive economy, getting a trademark can prevent others from stealing your brand identity. Unfortunately, this does happen, especially if you have a popular brand!

Once you have a trademark in place, you have legal rights to it forever. This means you can legally fight anyone who tries to take ownership of your brand in any capacity.

It also means you don't have to worry about renewing your trademark at any time. Once it's yours, it's yours.

How much does it cost to apply for a trademark?

This depends on the "class" of goods you are trademarking. In general, however, you can expect to pay between $225 and $400 to apply for a trademark.

These fees are non-refundable. Unfortunately, paying the fee doesn't guarantee that your trademark application will get approved.

How to File a Trademark

Before you get ready to register a trademark, decide if getting one is right for you. 

Remember that trademarks protect a brand or a logo. If you feel strongly that you'd like to legally protect your company's brand or logo against national competitors, a trademark may be for you!

Trademarks are also different from patents and copyrights. In general, patents protect inventions. Copyrights are designed for artistic or literary creations or works.

Your business name typically can't be protected by a trademark. But you can protect its brand image, design, or logo.

1. Determine Your "Mark"

Before filing your trademark, it's vital to establish what you actually are trademarking. The USPTO is very specific about how you can do this.

For example, you'll want to search the trademark database to see if anyone else has a trademark for your logo or design. This is called a "clearance search."

After you've done this, select your mark by deciding on its format. Formats include design, character, and even sound marks. You will also have to clearly identify which goods or products the mark applies to.

Lastly, filers will have to know what their filing basis is. In general, this means that you have to intend to use your mark for business purposes. It could also mean that you've already used your mark for commercial purposes.

The USPTO cautions all business owners about how important this step is. It especially wants you to consider how easy/difficult it will be to protect your mark in the future.

Very specific, unique marks are easier to legally protect. Vague or complicated marks, on the other hand, can put you in some real trademark trouble.

2. Prepare Your Application

You'll file for a trademark online at the USPTO's website. It is possible to submit a paper application, but these take longer to process than digital applications.

A trademark application will require accurate contact information in addition to digital files of what you are trademarking. Both are very important for efficient processing.

When you apply, you will have to pay your trademark fee. The lowest fee, $225, has the strictest requirements, while the highest fee, $400, has the most flexible requirements.

3. Wait for an Examining Attorney's Review

After your application is filed, you'll be assigned an examining attorney through USPTO. This attorney will review your application to see if it's eligible for registration.

If the attorney finds no objection to why your mark should be registered, they will forward your application on for publication. There are a few more steps you'll have to take after this, including keeping your trademark registration "live."

However, a trademark law attorney can help you with these additional steps (and many more).

Trademark Attorneys: How They Help You Save Money

The USPTO recommends that business owners work with a U.S. trademark attorney to file a trademark application. An attorney can help simplify the filing process for you.

But trademark law attorneys can also help you save money!

Remember that your trademark filing fee (between $225 and $400) is non-refundable. This means that if your application is rejected for any reason, that money goes down the drain--plus, your brand remains unprotected.

U.S. trademark attorneys can help you navigate all steps of the registration process, ensuring you don't make a mistake.

They can also inspect marks before registration. This can be essential for choosing a mark that will be easy to protect down the road.

If you are approved for a mark but it's difficult to protect for any reason, you could face legal battles in the future. In some cases, you may not be able to win those battles, even with a trademark in place. This can result in fruitless legal fees totaling in the thousands of dollars.

There are also additional fees that filers can run into throughout the application process. You have to pay $100, for example, to demonstrate brand use if you didn't do so in your application. There's a $125 fee for extending your time frame for proving this use, too.

Working with a trademark attorney can keep these additional fees at bay. You'll still have to pay the registration fees. But partnering with an attorney increases your likelihood of approval and eliminates risk of excessive fees. 

Final Thoughts On Trademarking Time

Filing for a trademark is a complex but worthy process. With a trademark in place, you can have peace of mind that your brand identity is protected!

How much does a trademark cost? To file for a trademark, you will have to pay an application fee as high as $400. But working with a trademark attorney can ensure this fee pays off with an approved application.

It can also safeguard against future legal battles and additional fees. Good luck with your application and make sure to use a top trademark lawyer!

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