Trademark Application Fees: How Much Should You Budget?

Trademark Application Fees: How Much Should You Budget?

When considering how much for a trademark application, it's crucial to understand the basic expenses involved. This quick breakdown will help you budget effectively:

  • TEAS Plus: $250 per class of goods/services
  • TEAS Standard: $350 per class of goods/services


Embarking on the journey to trademark your business's name or logo is both an exciting and daunting task, particularly when it comes to budgeting. The cost of a trademark application can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of application form you choose and the number of classes you need to protect. Understanding these costs upfront is critical to ensure that you can plan adequately without facing unexpected expenses down the line.

A trademark not only strengthens your brand’s identity but also provides legal protection against misuse and infringement. Therefore, investing in a trademark should be looked at as a vital part of your business strategy. However, to navigate this process smoothly, having a clear insight into the financial commitment required is essential.

In this introduction, we'll brief you on the basic costs associated with trademark applications through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and why precisely budgeting from the outset is crucial for every entrepreneur. This preparation will help you safeguard your intellectual property effectively and avoid common pitfalls that could affect your business finances.

Understanding Trademark Application Costs

Understanding the costs involved in trademark applications is crucial for effective budgeting and financial planning. Here, we'll break down the initial fees, ongoing maintenance costs, and other additional expenses you might encounter during the trademark registration process.

How Much for a Trademark Application?

When you decide to register a trademark, the first step is to understand the filing options available and their associated costs:

  • TEAS Plus: This option costs $250 per class of goods/services. It's the more economical choice and requires using pre-approved descriptions from the USPTO’s ID Manual.
  • TEAS Standard: This option costs $350 per class of goods/services. It offers more flexibility as it allows you to provide custom descriptions of your goods or services.

If you choose to file your application on paper, which is less common and generally discouraged due to higher costs and longer processing times, the fee is significantly higher at $750 per class.

Breakdown of USPTO Fees

The costs associated with trademark registration can be categorized into initial filing fees, maintenance fees, and additional costs that may arise during the trademark lifecycle:

  1. Initial Filing Fees:
  2. TEAS Plus: $250 per class
  3. TEAS Standard: $350 per class
  4. Paper Filing: $750 per class

  5. Maintenance Fees:

  6. Between the fifth and sixth year after registration, a Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse (Section 8 affidavit) must be filed, costing $125 per class.
  7. Every ten years, you must renew your trademark by filing a Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse along with an Application for Renewal. The fee for this is $425 per class.

  8. Additional Fees:

  9. If you need to file a Statement of Use for an intent-to-use application, the fee is $100 per class.
  10. If you opt for enhanced protection, filing a Declaration of Incontestability (Section 15 affidavit) costs $200 per class.

These fees are critical to keep in mind as they recur throughout the life of your trademark and can add up, especially if your trademark covers multiple classes.

By understanding these costs upfront, you can plan your budget accordingly and ensure that your trademark protection does not lapse due to missed maintenance filings. This preparation is key to maintaining the legal protections that a trademark provides for your brand identity in the marketplace.

Factors Influencing Trademark Costs

Understanding the various factors that influence trademark costs is crucial for anyone looking to register a trademark. These costs can vary based on several aspects such as the number of classes, the type of application, and whether you choose to hire legal assistance.

Choosing the Right Class for Your Trademark

When registering a trademark, correctly identify the class or classes of goods and services your trademark will cover. The USPTO recognizes 45 different classes, ranging from clothing and cosmetics to software and educational services.

  • Goods vs. Services: Determine whether your trademark will be used in connection with goods, services, or both. For instance, if you sell t-shirts (goods) and also offer printing services (services), you'll need to register under multiple classes.
  • Class Identification: Use the USPTO’s Trademark ID Manual to accurately find the class that fits your product or service. Incorrect classification can lead to application rejections or the need for re-filing, which increases costs.

Selecting the right class is not just about compliance; it also strategically positions your trademark for maximum protection. Misclassification can leave gaps in protection, making your trademark vulnerable to infringement in unregistered categories.

The Role of Legal Assistance in Trademark Applications

Deciding whether to hire a trademark attorney or to file on your own is a significant decision that impacts your overall costs and the likelihood of successful registration.

  • Attorney Fees: While not mandatory, hiring a trademark attorney can be a wise investment. Attorneys can help ensure that your application is complete and accurately reflects your business needs. They are skilled in conducting comprehensive searches to avoid potential conflicts with existing trademarks.

As highlighted by Ruth Carter, a trademark lawyer, using professional services from the start can prevent costly mistakes: "It's often worth it to hire a lawyer to do the preliminary search to see if the trademark you want to register is even available. I've seen people try to do it themselves and they ended up wasting $225 in filing fees trying to get a trademark that they couldn't have because they didn't know how to do a thorough search."

  • DIY Filing: Filing a trademark application without legal help can save upfront costs. The USPTO offers two main electronic filing options: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard, costing $250 and $350 per class, respectively. TEAS Plus is cheaper but requires strict adherence to pre-approved descriptions, while TEAS Standard offers more flexibility in description but at a higher cost.

  • Legal Advice: Even if you decide to file the application yourself, consulting with a lawyer for advice might still be beneficial. They can provide crucial insights and help you avoid common pitfalls, potentially saving you money in the long run.

In conclusion, the number of classes, type of application, and decision to hire legal assistance are pivotal factors that can significantly influence the overall cost of trademark registration. By carefully considering these factors, you can better manage your budget and enhance the protection of your brand.

Maintenance and Renewal of Trademark Registrations

Costs After Trademark Registration

After successfully registering your trademark, it's crucial to keep it active and enforceable. This involves regular filings with the USPTO to prove you are still using the trademark in commerce. Let's explore the key aspects and costs involved in maintaining and renewing your trademark registration.

Declaration of Use
Within the first five to six years after registration, you must submit a Declaration of Use (also known as a Section 8 affidavit). This document is a sworn statement that your trademark is actively used in commerce. Failing to submit this declaration can result in the cancellation of your trademark. The cost for filing this online is $125 per class.

Renewal Fees
Trademark registrations are valid for ten years, but they can be renewed indefinitely, each time for another ten years. Between the ninth and tenth year following your trademark's registration, you must file a combined Declaration of Use and an Application for Renewal (Sections 8 and 9). The standard filing fee for this combined document is $425 per class when filed online.

Excusable Nonuse
Sometimes, there might be valid reasons (such as economic downturns or supply chain disruptions) why a trademark is not actively used. In such cases, you can file a claim of excusable nonuse within your Declaration of Use. This claim prevents your trademark from being cancelled if you can justify the nonuse effectively.

Renewal Process
The renewal process involves not only paying the renewal fees but also ensuring that your trademark's use on all registered goods and services is still accurate. Any changes in the use or the nature of the goods and services since the original registration or last renewal must be reflected and updated accordingly.

Keeping Trademark Active
To avoid your trademark falling into disuse, perform regular audits on how your trademark is being used in business operations. Make sure it aligns with the USPTO's requirements for active use in commerce. This proactive approach not only helps in maintaining the trademark but also strengthens its enforceability.

By understanding these maintenance and renewal requirements and their associated costs, you can ensure that your trademark remains a valuable asset for your business. Keeping a trademark active requires attention to detail and timely filings, all of which are crucial for protecting your brand in the long run.

Budgeting for Your Trademark Application

When planning for trademark registration, it's crucial to understand all potential costs to avoid surprises and ensure you have adequate funds allocated. Here's what you need to know:

Total Expected Cost

The initial filing fees are a primary expense. Depending on whether you choose TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard, you can expect to pay $250 or $350 per class of goods/services respectively. If your trademark spans multiple classes, these costs will multiply accordingly.

Unexpected Expenses

Applications often incur additional costs. For instance, if the USPTO issues an Office Action because they need more information or there's an issue with your application, responding to this can require additional legal advice and possibly more fees. It's wise to set aside a contingency fund of around 20-30% of your initial budget to cover these potential expenses.

Budget Planning

Start by listing all potential costs: - Filing fees: $250-$350 per class - Legal fees: If you choose to hire an attorney, costs can range from $500 to $2000 or more - Maintenance fees: Plan for the long-term with renewal fees every ten years, starting at $525 per class

Create a spreadsheet to track these expenses and update it as you move through the trademark process.

Cost-Saving Tips for Trademark Registration

TEAS Plus vs. TEAS Standard: Opting for TEAS Plus not only saves you $100 per class but also speeds up the process due to its streamlined requirements. However, ensure that the descriptions available via the TEAS Plus system adequately cover your products or services.

Single Class Application: If possible, limit your trademark application to a single class to minimize filing fees. Carefully consider which class best represents your primary business offering.

Monitoring Services: After registration, keep an eye on your trademark without constantly hiring legal help by using monitoring services. These services alert you to potential infringements, which helps in taking timely action and can reduce the cost of lengthy legal disputes.

By carefully planning and utilizing cost-saving strategies, you can effectively manage the expenses associated with trademark registration. This proactive approach not only ensures that you stay within budget but also secures and protects your brand's identity in the marketplace.


When considering how much for a trademark application, look beyond the initial costs and focus on the long-term value this investment brings to your business. Trademark registration is not just a legal formality; it's a crucial component of your brand's identity and market positioning. Let's break down why this matters and how KickSaaS Legal enhances this journey for you.

Long-term Benefits of Trademark Registration

Registering your trademark provides lasting protection for your brand, helping to prevent unauthorized use of your name, logo, or other proprietary symbols. This legal safeguard ensures that your brand remains unique and distinct, reducing confusion in the marketplace and building trust with customers. Moreover, a registered trademark can significantly increase your business's value, making it a more attractive proposition for potential investors or buyers.

KickSaaS Legal Expertise

At KickSaaS Legal, we specialize in turning the complex process of trademark registration into a straightforward, stress-free experience. Our deep understanding of the nuances of trademark law, especially as it applies to digital businesses and SaaS platforms, allows us to provide tailored advice that aligns perfectly with your business needs. Our flat-fee pricing model means you know exactly what you're paying upfront, eliminating any surprises and allowing you to budget effectively.

Protecting Your Brand

Securing a trademark isn't just about legal protection; it's about securing the identity and integrity of your brand in a competitive market. With our expert guidance, you can ensure that your trademark is not only registered but managed properly to maintain its validity and enforceability. This proactive protection is crucial in safeguarding the time, money, and effort you've invested in building your brand.

By partnering with KickSaaS Legal, you're not just filing a trademark application; you're investing in the future of your business. Discover how KickSaaS Legal can protect your brand and help you navigate the complexities of trademark registration with confidence and clarity. Let us help you enhance and protect your brand's value, ensuring it thrives in today's dynamic market.

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