How Much Does It Cost To Trademark Something?

How Much Does It Cost To Trademark Something?

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Are you someone who wants to protect it’s identity but is confused about the costs? Because this is a common question for entrepreneurs and businesses aiming to protect their brands. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of trademark costs, breaking down the factors that affect pricing. From application fees to legal assistance, we’ll let you know how much does it cost to trademark something.  

Why To Trademark Something?

Trademarking provides legal protection for your brand, ensuring that others cannot use your mark without permission. For instance, the phrase “Eat Fresh” is trademarked by Subway, preventing competitors from using similar slogans to promote their food products.

A trademark helps your brand stand out and be easily identifiable among competitors, fostering brand loyalty and trust. An example of this is the distinctive blue bird logo of Twitter, which instantly identifies the platform and its services to users worldwide.

Trademark registration grants you exclusive rights to use your mark in connection with specific goods or services, giving you a competitive edge in the market. Take the example of the phrase “You’re in good hands” trademarked by Allstate, which is exclusively associated with the insurance company’s services, establishing trust and reliability among consumers.

Trademarks can be valuable assets for businesses, contributing to their overall value and marketability. For instance, the signature red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are trademarked, enhancing the luxury brand’s appeal and commanding premium prices in the fashion industry.

With a registered trademark, you have legal recourse to enforce your rights against infringers, protecting your brand’s reputation and market position. An example of this is the distinctive sound of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine, which is trademarked to prevent others from imitating it, preserving the brand’s unique identity and heritage.

How Much Does It Cost To Trademark Something?

When filing directly with the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), the cost to trademark something varies based on the chosen option:

  1. TEAS Plus: This option consist of a basic filing fee of $250. If additional classes of goods or services are needed, an upfront fee of $125 per class applies. Moreover, applicants benefit from the ability to receive further communications via email.
  2. TEAS Reduced Fee: With a basic filing fee of $275, this option allows applicants to pay $125 later for additional classes of goods or services. Similar to TEAS Plus, applicants can receive further communications via email.
  3. TEAS Regular: This option requires a basic filing fee of $400. If additional classes of goods and services are necessary, a separate fee applies. Additionally, applicants have the option to submit further application materials outside of the TEAS system.

What Can Be Trademarked?

  1. A trademark serves as a distinctive identifier of the source of a product or service. It must be unique and directly associated with your business, products, or services. Here are some examples of what can be trademarked:

    1. Phrase: Catchy slogans, taglines, or memorable phrases used to promote your products or services can be trademarked. For instance, “Just Do It” by Nike or “I’m Lovin’ It” by McDonald’s.
    2. Business Name: The name of your company or business can be trademarked to protect its identity in the marketplace. Examples include Apple Inc., Coca-Cola Company, and Microsoft Corporation.
    3. Logo: Unique symbols, designs, or graphical representations used to identify your brand can be trademarked. Examples include the swoosh symbol of Nike, the golden arches of McDonald’s, and the bitten apple of Apple Inc.
    4. Symbol: Any distinctive symbol or emblem associated with your brand can be trademarked. This could include stylized lettering, graphical icons, or abstract designs used to represent your products or services.

    Additionally, domain names can often be trademarked if they are directly related to your business or brand. However, social media usernames typically cannot be trademarked.

How To Trademark Something?

  1. Conduct a Trademark Search: Before you begin the application process, it’s crucial to ensure that your desired trademark is unique and not already in use by another entity. You can conduct a search through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) or seek assistance from a trademark attorney.
  2. Choose Your Filing Method: Decide whether you’ll file directly through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), use a legal website, or hire a trademark attorney for assistance.
  3. Prepare Your Application: Gather all necessary information and documentation for your trademark application, including the name and address of the trademark owner, a specimen of the mark, and a description of the goods or services associated with the mark.
  4. File Your Application: Submit your trademark application electronically through the USPTO’s TEAS portal or through your chosen legal website or attorney. Pay the required filing fees at this time.
  5. Monitor Your Application: After filing, monitor the progress of your trademark application through the USPTO’s Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. Be prepared to respond to any inquiries or objections from the examining attorney.
  6. Respond to Office Actions: If the examining attorney issues an Office Action raising concerns or requesting additional information, respond promptly and thoroughly to address any issues and keep your application moving forward.
  7. Await Examination and Publication: Once your application passes examination, it will be published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for opposition. Other parties will have an opportunity to oppose your trademark if they believe it infringes on their rights.
  8. Receive Registration Certificate: If no opposition is filed or successfully resolved, and all other requirements are met, your trademark will be registered, and you’ll receive a registration certificate from the USPTO.
  9. Maintain Your Trademark: To keep your trademark registration active, you’ll need to file periodic maintenance documents and renewals as required by the USPTO.

Keep in mind that the trademark registration process can be complex, and it’s often helpful to seek guidance from a trademark attorney to ensure that your application is properly prepared and filed.

What Is The Difference Between Trademarking Something And Copyrighting Something?

Both copyrighting and trademarking are separate types of intellectual property protection with their own functions.

Symbols, names, slogans, logos, and any other device used to identify and differentiate goods or services in the marketplace are protected by trademark law. Marking the source or origin of goods or services helps avoid consumer confusion, which is the main goal of trademarking. Trademarks include names like Nike, logos like the bitten apple of Apple, catchphrases like “Just Do It” from Nike, and icons like the golden arches of McDonald’s. Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely as long as they are actively used in commerce, which makes them essential for developing brand recognition and loyalty.

However, original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form, like computer software, music, paintings, or literary works, are protected by copyrights. Copyrights, as opposed to trademarks, are concerned with giving creators the sole authority to duplicate, distribute, perform, and exhibit their works. Original works are automatically protected by copyright as soon as they are created and fixed in a tangible form; registration is not required. Works such as books, films, photographs, paintings, music compositions, and software are examples of copyrighted works. Usually, copyrights are only valid for a short time—either for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years, or for a predetermined amount of time after creation or publication.

What Is The Cost Of Monitoring Something Trademarked?

Monitoring a trademark is essential for protecting against infringement, but the cost can vary significantly depending on factors such as method, scope, and frequency. Basic monitoring, involving periodic checks of trademark databases, may cost a few hundred dollars annually. More comprehensive monitoring, covering online platforms and social media channels, can vary. Automated monitoring tools offer a cost-effective solution, with subscription fees typically starting at around $50 to $100 per month. However, professional monitoring services may charge higher subscription or service fees, starting at approximately $500 to $1,000 per year. Whether managing monitoring internally or outsourcing it to a professional service provider, businesses should carefully assess their needs and budget to implement an effective monitoring strategy.

What Is The Cost Of Hiring An Attorney To Trademark Something?

The attorney cost to trademark something can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the trademark application, the experience and expertise of the attorney, and whether additional services are required beyond basic filing.

Generally, attorneys may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for trademark services. Flat fees for trademark registration typically range from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the attorney and the specifics of the trademark application. Hourly rates for trademark attorneys can range from $150 to $500 or more per hour, with the total cost depending on the amount of time spent on the application process.

In addition to the initial filing fee, there may be additional costs for services such as conducting a trademark search, responding to Office Actions from the USPTO, or filing renewal applications in the future.

Reach Out Today!

For inquiries regarding trademarking, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is readily available to provide you with more information and guidance on the trademarking process. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your intellectual property and ensuring the success of your brand.