Budget Estimator for Trademarks
Many of our clients have asked for a way of estimating what costs and time periods to expect when registering a trademark. This estimator should serve as a guide, and is as good an estimate as we can prepare, but you should realize that the fees you will actually pay may vary widely from these, depending on the individual circumstances of your mark. You can expect trademark applications to take around 1-3 years between application and registration, if all goes well.
Legal fees will vary based on the time expended, which will depend on the complexity of the task at hand, etc. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) and New York State fees listed here are correct as of January 28, 2019, but can be expected to change (increase) over time. A complete list of Trademark Office fees is available here. A complete copy of the USPTO's fee schedule is also available from their website.
Finally, of course, there is no guarantee as to the number of times which we may need to respond to the PTO, or if it may become necessary to appeal a rejection, or if your application will ever be registered at all.
- Initial Consultation: $100 - Note: if a search or application is ordered, this will be applied to fee.
- Trademark Searches: Our trademark search reports include a legal opinion, as well as details of the search and a review of the marks found in the search. We do our own searching of trademarks in databases covering:
- US Trademark Office Registrations: also includes pending applications (within the limitations of available databases - most are six or eight weeks behind current filings), and expired/cancelled applications and registrations. A search of these lapsed filings can be important, as they may reveal the possibility of use by a previous registrant who has let the registration lapse for some reason, but who intends to continue the use of the mark.
- US State registrations
- Canadian IP Office Trademark registrations
- Registrations in countries other than US or Canada: Searching for marks in some other countries is possible, at extra cost (approximately $100, but depends on actual charges by database supplier). Contact us if you have a specific need to know about trademarks in other countries.
- Domain names: This covers US-registered domains ending in top-level-domains (tld's) .com, .edu and .org, only. Other tld's may be searched, as they become available.
- Unregistered marks: For obvious reasons, no search of unregistered marks can be definitive - by definition, they are unregistered - but we check manufacturers' directories, world-wide-web entries, and other sources as might be appropriate, in an effort to at least attempt to find any widely-used common law marks. You are encouraged to do your own searching for unregistered, as well, in whatever catalogs and industry-specific material to which you might have access.
- E-mail, Fax or Telephone Response, including search and legal opinion: $800. A full written report and opinion will be mailed. Rush service (3 days or less) is available on request.
- Opinion based on someone else's search: If you would prefer to do your own search, or have the results of a search done by a professional service which does not provide a legal opinion, we can provide an opinion for a fee of $375.
- Alternate Marks: We encourage clients to provide alternate marks to save the expense and time of doing complete searches if the first choice should turn out to have already been registered in the USPTO. Any number of alternates may be supplied, and will be searched in turn until one passes the initial search of US Federal registrations. There is an additional charge of $475 for each alternate mark which is actually searched.
- Searching Multiple Related Marks: If a number of related marks are to be searched at one time, we can arrange a reduced search fee for the group. By "related marks" we mean marks which are similar in some way, such that to search one requires at least a partial search for the others. For example, if you propose to use the marks "Xarnex", "Xarnite" and "Xarnamatic", the three marks could be searched for little more effort or cost than one of them individually. Contact us for a quote for your specific situation.
- Application (Federal): You may file an application to register a mark, whether or not you have actually used it in interstate commerce. If you have used the mark in interstate or international commerce (that is, sold goods or services under the mark to a customer in another state or country), then you can file an application to register the mark based on that use. If not, then you can file based on your "intent to use" - the application will be processed, but you will need to file a "Statement of Use" indicating you have used the mark in interstate commerce before the mark will be registered. (See our "Trademark Q&A" page for "What do I need to supply to prepare an application?")
- Preparation and filing of application to register a trademark or service mark: allow two weeks, although we can usually prepare an application faster. Costs are:
- Legal fees: $700* per "intent to use" application, $900* per application based on actual use.
- *Includes one class of goods/services. Additional classes $100 additional per class.
- PTO filing fee: (A complete Trademark Office official fee schedule is available)
- Paper-filings: $750 per class (paper filing, with limited exceptions, are no longer permitted)
- Electronically filed applications: (With limited exceptions, applications must be filed electronically)
- TEAS Standard: The standard USPTO filing fee is $350 per class
- TEAS-Plus: The USPTO filing fee can be reduced to $250 per class for certain trademark/service mark applications filed electronically through the "TEAS-Plus" system.
- NOTE: Because TEAS-Plus requires that goods or services be selected from lists in the standard manual, using this system takes longer than the standard TEAS system - significantly longer if we have to rewrite the description to fit the descriptions in the manual. Therefore, we can only offer TEAS-plus filing for applications in which (a) the client has chosen the descriptions of goods/services from the standard manual.
- If the application is determined not to meet the TEAS-Plus requirements, or if the applicant does something which would result in loss of TEAS-Plus status (i.e. files a response on paper or does not maintain a valid e-mail address), there is an additional processing fee of $100 per class.
- For more detailed information on TEAS-Plus, see our Trademark Q&A page.
Note that most USPTO fees are "per class" - that is, if the goods or services fall under more than one class in the International Classification of Goods and Services, then you must pay a separate fee for each class of goods. For example, if you are selling mugs (Glassware, Class 21) and t-shirts (Clothing, Class 25), you'd need to pay $700 in USPTO filing fees if you used the standard e-filing system, and $500 through TEAS-plus. If you are only selling mugs, glasses, and plates, which would fall into the one class 21, the filing fee would be $350 for TEAS-Standard or $250 for TEAS-plus.
See our Trademark Q&A Page for more details.
- Preparation and filing of application to register a collective or certification mark: These marks are considerably more complicated to handle - contact us for a quote on your specific situation.
- Examination: Once an application is on file, it will be examined by an attorney at the Trademark Office. Expect 6-9 months after filing to first "Office Action" (response by the Examining Attorney). You should expect at least one Office Action, possibly more. If affidavits from experts, appeals, etc. are required, there will be additional time and PTO fees involved, which are impossible to estimate in a general way.
- Response: You will have 6 months to respond to an office action. Because it is not possible to predict what the Examining Attorney will find, we cannot provide a fixed fee for responding to office actions - the cost of response depends on our time spent to prepare the response. If possible, we will supply a quote when we send the office action. As a very general ballpark estimate, the cost of reporting and responding to the office action is usually between $750 and $1,500, but it could be more if there are many references cited or many changes to make. If the Examining Attorney is still not satisfied, he/she will answer in 3-6 months, and there will be another response due, and so on.
- Publication: When the examiner is satisfied with the form of the application, if he/she has found no competing marks, the application will be published for opposition.
- Registration: If no opposition is filed within thirty days of publication, and if the mark is currently being used by the applicant, the mark will be registered. We should note that given delays in the Trademark Office, it could take nearly six months before you'd hear if an opposition had been filed.
- Statement of Use: If you filed on an "intent to use" basis, you have six months after the mark is ready for registration to file a Statement of Use with a specimen of the mark as used on the goods. PTO filing fee is $100 per class if filed electronically (which we would always do), plus $375 legal fees. If you have not used the mark during this period, you may request one six month extension of time which will be automatically granted (PTO Fee $125 per class if filed electronically (which we would always do) plus $275 legal fees). It is possible to request additional extensions of time, with a showing of good cause for the delay, at the same cost as the first extension request.
- Affidavit of Use ("Section 8"): During the sixth year after registration and every ten years during the life of the registration (normally, with the renewal application), an affidavit must be filed indicating that the mark is still in use, with a specimen of the mark as being used on the goods. Cost: $225 filing fee per class if filed electronically (which we would always do) plus $375 legal fee.
- Incontestability ("Section 15"): Any time after the mark has been registered for five years, you can file a "section 15" affidavit declaring that no one has questioned your use of the mark during the five year period. Upon acceptance of the affidavit, the mark becomes "incontestable", which means that an infringer may no longer question your right to use the mark. Cost: $200 per class filing fee if filed electronically (which we would always do) plus $375 legal fee.
- Combined section 8 and 15: Optionally, the two affidavits can be combined, saving the legal fee for preparing two documents. Cost: PTO filing fee $425 per class if filed electronically (which we would always do), plus $375 legal fee.
- Renewal ("Section 9"): The trademark registration must be renewed every ten years. A Section 8 "Affidavit of Continued Use" must also be filed every ten years. The section 8 affidavit and section 9 (renewal) may be combined onto one form, but both filing fees must be paid. Cost: renewal filing fee $300 per class if filed electronically (which we would always do), plus section 8 filing fee of $225 per class, plus our $375 legal fee.
Madrid Protocol Applications
There are three components to the total cost for filing a Madrid Protocol application: (1) our fee for preparing and filing the application; (2) the USPTO fee; and (3) International Fees. These fees are:
1. Our fee for preparing and filing a Madrid Protocol application in the USPTO is $700.
2. USPTO service fees are $100 per class, if the application is based on one US application/registration, or $150 per class if the application is based on more than one US application/registration.
3. International fees depend on which countries are designated, and the characteristics of the mark. These fees are, for a single-class application at the exchange rate current on January 29, 2019, in the range of $730 (black and white mark, least expensive country) to $23,500 (color design mark designating all countries). A schedule of international fees and a fee calculator are available on the WIPO website. Note that because the International Fees must be paid in Swiss Francs at the exchange rate current at the time of filing, it is only possible to give an estimate of fees in advance.
Once the application is filed, it will be certified by the USPTO, and, if there are any problems found, a response and amendment will need to be filed. The application will then be submitted to each of the designated countries, and objections might be raised by the national trademark offices in one or more of those countries, which will have to be dealt with through local agents in each country. It is not possible to estimate the costs of these responses in the abstract, and with Madrid filing an option for US filers for only a short period of time there is little experience to draw on, but it would appear that a budget of $500-$1,000 or so per country for local agent's fees would not be unrealistic.
Note for overseas clients: Brown and Michaels can file Madrid Protocol applications in the USPTO only based on prior US national trademark filings, and only for clients who are United States nationals or "have either a real and effective industrial and commercial establishment or a domicile" in the US. Overseas clients need to file Madrid applications in their home countries.
For more details on the Madrid Protocol, see our Madrid Protocol web page.
For a quote on a Madrid Protocol filing, please contact Brown & Michaels.
New York State Trademark Registrations
Many states have trademark registration systems. As attorneys admitted to practice in New York State, we can assist you in filing a state trademark application in New York. If you are using a mark only in NY (that is, not in interstate commerce), this may be of some value. You may not use the ® "r in a circle" mark, but the filing does offer notice to those searching the state database.
- Legal fees: $800 per basic application.
- State Filing Fee: $50 per class of goods.
- Renewal: $50 per class, plus $375 legal fee.
Other Services are billed at up to $450 per hour, plus expenses, on a time spent basis. We can help you with license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, incorporations, etc.
Patent Fees and Copyright Fees are on separate fee schedules. The current U.S. Patent and Trademark Office official Patent and Trademark fees are also separately listed.
Billing and Fee Policies
- All fees are due when billed.
- We accept VISA and MasterCard. If paying by credit card, please provide the card number, expiration date, account name and billing address, and an authorization to charge your card for a specific amount.
- We can accept payment by wire transfer - e-mail for details. If you are paying by wire transfer from outside the USA, please add $25.00 to the transfer to cover the incoming bank fees. Also, please be sure to include your name and the matter number and/or statement number in the "comments" on the wire transfer, so that we can correctly apply the payment.
- Amounts unpaid after 30 days will be charged a service charge at the rate of 1.5% per month.
- Returned checks are subject to a $25 fee, plus any applicable bank fees.
- All outstanding trademark fees, including the PTO fees, must be paid before filing, unless a payment schedule has been worked out in advance.
- The charges listed on this page do not include direct out-of-pocket costs incurred on behalf of clients. Clients are responsible for out-of-pocket expenses, such as postage or Express costs, bank fees, telephone fees, copying, draftsman's or foreign agent's fees, etc., in addition to the fees listed above, unless a fee inclusive of such expenses has been agreed to in advance. Expenses are billed at cost - we do not mark up third party bills.
- Fees are subject to change without notice.