To file a trademark application with the United States of America, one needs to file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The costs involved in trademarking a business name depend on various factors such as the tier of protection required, and the number of classes of goods and services involved in the trademark application.
For a small business looking to grow in a saturated market such as the US, it is important to protect the assets of the business such as the equipment, land, labour, etc. However, it is equally important for this level of protection to be extended to the Intellectual Property (IP) of the business. An IP of a business includes the company’s brand name, logo, etc, and anything else that allows for a company’s goods and services to stand out from its competitors. The above-mentioned IP are covered under trademark protection and an application has to be filed with USPTO to get a trademark registered in the US.
Overview of Trademark Protection in the USA
The trademarking process in the US involves a few steps, starting from a trademark search. This trademark search is there to check if the trademark application has any conflicts with any registered trademarks with USPTO. To conduct a trademark search, the applicant has to hire a trademark attorney, which can cost more than $300. As searching for existing trademarks is a very important step in the trademark process, it is advised that no applicant skip out on this. Vakilsearch can take care of the trademark search for you in a hassle-free and inexpensive way.
There are 2 levels of trademark registration available with USPTO:
- State Level – This covers trademark protection at the state level, which is a simple and inexpensive process. However, the protection granted to the trademark is limited to the state and this offers limited protection.
- Federal Level – This covers trademark protection at the federal level, which requires a trademark application with USPTO, which is a complicated and costly process. The protection granted by this type of protection is higher than the protection granted by a state-level trademark. Registering a trademark with USPTO protects the trademark from unauthorised use and allows the company to use the ® symbol.
The Cost of Registering a Trademark
Registering a trademark with USPTO at a federal level ranges from $250 to $350 or more based on your application. According to USPTO, the cost of registering a trademark depend on:
- The number of trademarks you want
- The class of goods and services you intend to trademark.
There is a limit of one trademark per application and every individual application ranges from $250 and $350. The cost of filing changes depending on which level of protection is required and the number of classes of goods and services. If the trademark application contains more than 1 class of goods and services, every class of goods must be applied through a separate trademark application. This has the potential to make the process expensive given the filing cost of one application. It is also important to note that the filing costs are not refunded to the applicant if USPTO rejects the application. That is another reason why hiring an experienced lawyer for the search and registration process.
To provide some context, USPTO has 45 different classes of goods and services. Every one of these individually carries a cost ranging from $250 to $350.
The costs mentioned above include applying USPTO. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to register a trademark in the USA is through Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). TEAS is USPTO’s online trademark filing system and the cost of applying online as compared to filing a trademark offline is $250-$350 to $750 respectively.
TEAS has two types of trademark filing applications, both of them carrying a different fee:
1. TEAS Plus – $250 per trademark class.
The cheaper of the two application processes, TEAS Plus requires the application to meet more requirements for the application (Trademark Rule 2.22). TEAS Plus also requires the applicant to contain the application to the pre-approved trademark classes (Pre-approved classes can be found in the Trademark ID Manual). USPTO requires all TEAS Plus applicants to communicate exclusively through email.
2. TEAS Standard – $350 per trademark class.
Expensive than TEAS Plus, TEAS Standard allows its applicants to bypass choosing classes from pre-approved trademark classes. Additionally, the requirements in this application are less than those contained in the TEAS Plus and thus, TEAS Standard is a faster process in comparison.
One of the benefits of choosing TEAS Plus is that because the application falls under pre-approved trademark classes, the possibility of the rejection of the application reduces significantly.
Depending on the requirements, the choice of application varies the cost of filing. Although TEAS Plus is cheaper, TEAS Standard is better for a custom class of goods whereas TEAS Plus carries lesser chances of rejection if the application is for a pre-approved trademark class.
Vakilsearch can help you with the cheapest way to file a trademark application in the United States. Vakilsearch will do trademark research, select trademark classes, prepare the application and the required documents, and apply and monitor the Examination – Publication – Registration process by assigning a licensed trademark attorney in the United States.