February 20, 2014

How Much Does it Cost to File a Federal Trademark Application?

by Guest Blogger

One of the first questions we get asked about filing a federal trademark application is "how much does it cost?" We charge a $700 flat fee to prepare and file the application. This allows clients to know exactly what their filing costs are going to be upfront.

In addition to our flat fee, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) charges a fee based on the type of application form and the number of International Classes of goods or services in the application. Goods and services are organized into 45 International Classes. The list can be found in this listing, "Nice Agreement Tenth Edition - General Remarks, Class Headings and Explanatory Notes - Version 2012".

There are 3 types of application forms. There are 2 options to file over the Internet using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS): regular TEAS and TEAS Plus. The filing fee for a regular TEAS application is $325 per class of goods/services. The TEAS Plus application has a lower filing fee of $275 per class of goods/services, but you must meet certain additional requirements. For example, you must be able to select an entry or entries from the USPTO's Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual that describes the goods/services. Paper applications can also be filed at a higher cost of $375 per class of goods/services.

To give an example of the cost to file a federal trademark application, let's consider the federally registered trademark below:

02 19 14 Blog Music City

Nashville is our hometown, and it is known as the "Music City." Nashville traces its musical heritage all the way back to its earliest settlers, who celebrated in the late 1700s with fiddle tunes and buck dancing. The launch of the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast in 1925 secured Nashville's reputation as the "Music City." As the home of country music, Nashville is one of the centers of the music industry today.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.visitmusiccity.com) registered the trademark shown above in 2 classes: (1) clothing, namely, hats and shirts, in class 25; and (2) chamber of commerce services, namely, promoting business and tourism in the Greater Nashville area, in class 35. The application was filed using the regular TEAS application, which costs $325 per class of goods/services. Thus, the total charge to prepare and file the trademark application would be $1,350.

After the application is filed, an examining attorney at the USPTO will conduct a review to determine whether federal law permits registration. This often results in an "office action" that sets out the issues that need to be addressed in order for the application to be approved. The issues can range from the relatively simple (e.g., amendment of the description of the goods or services) to the complex (e.g., refusal to register due to the likelihood of confusion with another trademark). We charge hourly rates to respond to office actions.

When you consider that in a best-case scenario a federal registration can be obtained for less than $1,500 in USPTO and attorney fees, a federal trademark registration provides great bang for the buck.

As noted in a previous post 'Build Your Brand Using Frequent Filer Lessons from Coca-Cola' federal registration provides a number of important benefits including:

Prima facie evidence of ownership and validity;

A presumptive right to nationwide use of the trademark for the products/services listed in the registration, which can mature into a conclusive right after 5 years of continuous use;

A listing in the USPTO's online databases;

Public notice of the trademark regardless of whether the federal registration symbol "®" is used, which defeats a claim that an infringer did not know about the trademark;

The right to file a trademark infringement lawsuit in Federal Court;

The right to recover enhanced damages and attorney's fees in Federal Court if the federal registration symbol "®" is used;

The right to record the registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to block counterfeits and infringing products at the port of entry; and

The ability to use registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.

Federal trademark registration also helps with the recovery of domain names that have been pirated. In addition, registration can be used as collateral for securing loans.

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide online trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.