How much does it typically cost to trademark a name?Jul, 18 2023
Understanding the Basics of Trademarking a Name
The process of trademarking a name can seem quite daunting, especially if you're new to it. However, it's a crucial step that you should take if you're serious about protecting your brand or business identity. Trademarking a name essentially gives you exclusive rights to use that name in relation to certain goods or services. This means that other businesses cannot use the same or similar name to promote their products or services, thus preventing any potential confusion among consumers.
The Initial Costs: Filing a Trademark Application
The first step to trademarking a name is to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The cost to file a trademark application is typically between $225 and $400 per class of goods or services. This fee includes the cost of the initial application as well as the cost to have your application reviewed by an examining attorney at the USPTO.
It's important to note that this is a per-class fee, which means if your business offers multiple types of goods or services, you'll need to pay this fee for each class. For example, if you're a clothing brand that also sells accessories, you'd need to pay the application fee for both the clothing and accessories classes.
Additional Costs: Hiring a Trademark Attorney
While it's not mandatory to hire a trademark attorney, it is highly recommended. A seasoned trademark attorney can help you navigate through the complex process, conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that your chosen name isn't already in use, and respond to any objections or refusals from the USPTO. The cost to hire a trademark attorney can vary greatly depending on the attorney's experience level and the complexity of your case, but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
Unexpected Expenses: Trademark Opposition Proceedings
Even after your trademark application is approved by the USPTO, it's not a done deal. Your trademark will be published in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO, and anyone who believes they would be harmed by the registration of your trademark can file an opposition. If an opposition is filed, you may find yourself involved in a potentially expensive legal battle known as an opposition proceeding. The cost of an opposition proceeding can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the case and the aggressiveness of the opposing party.
Maintenance Costs: Keeping Your Trademark Active
Once your trademark is registered, there are periodic fees to keep it active. Between the 5th and 6th year after registration, you must file a "Declaration of Use" and pay a fee of $125 per class of goods or services. Then, every 10 years, you must file a "Renewal Application" and another "Declaration of Use", each costing $425 per class. Failure to file these documents and pay the fees can result in the cancellation of your trademark.
Conclusion: Budgeting for Your Trademark
As you can see, the cost to trademark a name can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the number of classes of goods or services, whether or not you hire an attorney, and whether you face any opposition proceedings. While it can be a significant investment, trademarking your business name can provide invaluable protection for your brand in the long run. Therefore, it’s important to budget properly for this process and consider it as a valuable investment in your business.