Trademark Application Fees: What You Need to Know

Trademark Application Fees: What You Need to Know


When launching or growing your business, understanding how much does a trademark application cost is crucial. Here’s a quick glance:

  • TEAS Standard Application: $350 per class
  • TEAS Plus Application: $250 per class
  • Additional Costs: Search fees, attorney fees, potential oppositions

Trademarks are more than just legal formalities; they are a vital part of protecting your business identity and ensuring that no one else can profit from your hard-earned reputation. A properly registered trademark secures your brand name or logo exclusively for your use, providing legal grounds to challenge any unauthorized uses. Given the competitive and often crowded digital marketplace, securing a trademark can be a critical step toward establishing and maintaining your business’s unique position.

Detailed infographic showing a breakdown of initial and potential additional costs involved in trademark applications, highlighting the differences between TEAS Standard and TEAS Plus applications and indicating average attorney fees. - how much does a trademark application cost infographic comparison-2-items-casual

As you delve deeper into trademark costs, these are not just fees but investments in your brand's security and longevity. In the following sections, we'll explore the various aspects of trademark registration costs, including differences between federal and state levels, understanding specific USPTO fees, and providing practical advice on managing and potentially reducing these expenses.

Federal vs. State Trademark Registration

When deciding how to protect your brand, understanding the differences between federal and state trademark registration is crucial. Each option offers different levels of protection, costs, and benefits.

Federal Benefits

Registering your trademark at the federal level with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers the most comprehensive protection. Here are the key benefits:

  • Nationwide Protection: Unlike state trademarks, a federal trademark provides legal protection across the entire United States.
  • Legal Presumption of Ownership: This makes it easier to defend your trademark in court.
  • Ability to Use the ® Symbol: This indicates registered status and can deter potential infringement.
  • Customs Protection: Federal registration allows you to record the trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the importation of infringing foreign goods.

State Costs

State trademark registration is less costly than federal registration, but the protection is only valid within the state where it's registered. Costs vary by state, but they are generally lower than federal fees. For instance, filing a state trademark might cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the state. This option might be suitable if you are operating solely within one state and have no plans to expand outside that state.

Protection Levels

The level of protection is the most significant difference between state and federal registration:

  • State-Level Protection: Only provides trademark rights within the state. This means if someone in another state uses your trademark, your state registration gives you no grounds to challenge the use outside your state.
  • Federal-Level Protection: Offers protection across all states and territories of the U.S. It provides a legal basis to challenge any unauthorized use of your trademark nationwide.

Choosing the Right Registration

The choice between state and federal registration should be based on your business needs. If you operate locally and do not foresee expansion outside your state, state registration may suffice. However, for most businesses planning to operate across state lines or online, federal registration provides essential protections that state registration does not.

In the next section, we will delve into the specific fees charged by the USPTO and how they apply to different types of trademark applications. This will include a breakdown of costs for both TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard applications, helping you understand where your money goes when filing for a trademark.

Understanding USPTO Fees

When diving into how much does a trademark application cost, it's crucial to understand the different fees charged by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These fees vary based on the application type and the number of classes of goods or services your trademark will cover.

TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard Applications

The USPTO offers two primary types of electronic filing options: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. Each has its own set of requirements and fees:

  • TEAS Plus: This option costs $250 per class of goods or services. It's the more affordable choice and requires applicants to select from a pre-approved list of descriptions, which can streamline the process. However, it's less flexible if your goods or services don't match the predefined descriptions.

  • TEAS Standard: At $350 per class, this option is pricier but allows for more flexibility. You can provide custom descriptions of your goods or services, making it suitable for those who need to tailor their trademark application more closely.

Per Class Fees

A critical factor to remember is that USPTO fees are charged per class. This means if your trademark applies to multiple classes — for example, both clothing and software — you must pay the filing fee for each class. This can quickly increase the total cost of your trademark application.

Online vs. Paper Filing

The USPTO no longer accepts paper filings for trademarks. All applications must be submitted online through the TEAS system. This move to digital has streamlined the process but also means you need to be prepared to manage your application electronically.

By filing online, you not only adhere to the requirements but also save on the costs and delays associated with paper filings. The electronic system is designed to be user-friendly, and there are resources available if you encounter difficulties.

Understanding these fees and filing options is crucial for anyone looking to register a trademark. It allows you to budget appropriately and choose the filing option that best suits your needs. In the next section, we'll explore additional costs you might encounter beyond the initial application fees.

Additional Costs to Consider

When planning your trademark application, it's crucial to consider all potential costs beyond just the initial filing fees. These can include attorney fees, search and drawing fees, maintenance, and renewal costs. Let's break these down to help you budget effectively.

Attorney Fees

Hiring a trademark attorney can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. Attorneys can help navigate complex legal requirements and respond to any USPTO office actions. Typically, attorney fees for a trademark application can range from $500 to $2,000 for basic search and application services. However, if your case involves responding to oppositions or more intricate legal hurdles, costs can escalate quickly. As one trademark lawyer in Phoenix stated, "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 waste money on filing fees trying to get a trademark that they couldn't have."

Search and Drawing Fees

Before filing, conducting a thorough search is crucial to ensure that your trademark doesn't conflict with existing ones. While you can perform a basic search for free using the USPTO's database, a comprehensive search typically requires professional services which can cost several hundred dollars. Additionally, if your trademark includes a logo or specific design, you may incur drawing fees to professionally prepare the visual representation of your mark.

Maintenance Fees

Once your trademark is registered, you must keep it active. This involves filing maintenance documents between the fifth and sixth year after registration, as well as every ten years. The fees for these filings can add up, especially if your trademark covers multiple classes. For example, the fee for filing a Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse is $125 per class, and the renewal application every ten years costs $425 per class.

Renewal Costs

Renewing your trademark is crucial to protect your rights indefinitely. Every ten years, you need to file a renewal application along with a Declaration of Use. This costs $425 per class when filed online. If you fail to renew, your trademark could be canceled, leaving your brand unprotected.

By understanding these additional costs, you can better prepare and budget for the overall expense of trademark registration and maintenance. While the upfront costs might seem high, they are an investment in your brand's protection and longevity. In the following sections, we'll explore strategies to potentially reduce these costs and answer some frequently asked questions about trademark expenses.

How to Save on Trademark Application Costs

Navigating the costs of trademark registration can seem daunting, but there are several strategies you can employ to keep expenses manageable while safeguarding your brand. Here’s how:

DIY Filing

One of the most straightforward ways to save on costs is by handling the trademark filing process yourself. How much does a trademark application cost when you go the DIY route? You only pay the government filing fees, which are $250 for TEAS Plus and $350 for TEAS Standard per class of goods/services. This approach eliminates attorney fees, which can significantly reduce your initial expenditure.

State Registration

If your business operates primarily within a single state, consider registering your trademark at the state level. This option is generally cheaper than federal registration and can cost as little as a few hundred dollars depending on the state. However, keep in mind that state registration only protects your trademark within that state.

TEAS Plus Option

Choosing the TEAS Plus application can lead to cost savings. At $250 per class, it's $100 cheaper than the TEAS Standard application. TEAS Plus requires you to use pre-approved descriptions from the USPTO’s ID Manual, which can streamline the process and lower the cost. However, this option might limit how specifically you can describe your goods or services.

Picklist Usage

When filling out the TEAS Plus application, utilizing the picklist of pre-approved descriptions can not only simplify your filing process but also reduce the likelihood of errors that could lead to additional fees or a rejected application. This approach helps ensure that your descriptions meet the USPTO’s requirements, potentially avoiding costly amendments and legal fees.

By employing these strategies, you can effectively manage and even reduce the costs associated with trademark registration. Next, we'll answer some frequently asked questions about trademark costs to give you even more clarity on managing your expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Trademark Costs

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The cost of trademark registration can vary greatly, but if you're looking to save money, there are a couple of strategies you might consider:

  • State Filing: Registering your trademark at the state level is usually cheaper than a federal registration. This option is best if you are only operating within one state and don’t plan on expanding outside of it soon. State registration only protects your trademark in that specific state.

  • TEAS Plus: Opting for the TEAS Plus application when filing at the federal level can be more cost-effective. The fee for TEAS Plus is $250 per class of goods/services, compared to $350 for TEAS Standard. TEAS Plus requires you to use pre-approved descriptions from the USPTO’s ID Manual, which can streamline the process and minimize the risk of application issues.

How much are legal fees for trademark?

Legal fees for trademark registration can vary widely. Typically, they can range anywhere from $500 to $2000 or more, depending on the complexity of your case and the lawyer’s rates. Factors that can affect the cost include:

  • The complexity of your trademark: If your trademark involves complex design elements or falls into multiple classes, it might require more time and expertise to handle.

  • The thoroughness of the search: A comprehensive trademark search is crucial to avoid conflicts with existing trademarks. This search can be complex and time-consuming, potentially increasing legal fees.

  • Responses to USPTO actions: If the USPTO has any objections to your application, responding to these can require additional legal work.

Is it worth filing a trademark?

Filing for a trademark is an investment in your business and brand. Here’s why it can be worth the cost:

  • Business Value: A registered trademark adds value to your brand by giving you the exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with your products or services. It can be a vital asset that contributes to building your business’s identity and reputation.

  • Brand Protection: With a registered trademark, you have legal protections against unauthorized use of your brand. This means you can take legal action against infringements, which can deter others from using similar marks and potentially confusing your customers.

In conclusion, while the upfront cost of trademark registration might seem high, the long-term benefits of having a registered trademark—such as enhanced brand protection and increased business value—can far outweigh these initial expenses. Protecting your brand is not just about the present; it's a crucial investment into the future of your business.

By understanding these aspects, you can better navigate the costs associated with trademark registration and make informed decisions that align with your business goals. Moving forward, let's delve into how KickSaaS Legal can assist you in this journey, ensuring you're supported every step of the way.


Investing in a trademark is not merely a regulatory step—it's a strategic move to secure your business's identity and enhance its market presence. How much does a trademark application cost? While the fees can add up, the long-term benefits of having a registered trademark—such as enhanced brand protection and increased business value—can far outweigh these initial expenses. Protecting your brand is not just about the present; it's a crucial investment into the future of your business.

At KickSaaS Legal, we understand the significance of this investment. We're not just another legal service provider; we are your partner in navigating the complex waters of trademark registration. Our specialized services are tailored specifically to meet the needs of SaaS and digital marketing businesses. We know the landscape because we are a part of it, which allows us to provide practical, effective advice and services.

One of the cornerstones of our approach is our flat-fee pricing. This model ensures that you know exactly what you're paying upfront, eliminating any surprises down the line. This transparency allows our clients to budget effectively and invest in their brand's protection with confidence.

Moreover, our deep industry knowledge isn't just broad; it's nuanced. This specialized insight is crucial when navigating the complexities of trademark registration and crafting strategies that protect and enhance the value of your brand.

In conclusion, the path to securing your brand's identity through trademark registration is a critical one. It demands not just legal expertise but a partner who understands your industry inside and out. With KickSaaS Legal, you're not just hiring a law firm; you're partnering with specialists who are as committed to your brand's success as you are. Explore our comprehensive trademark services and secure your brand's future today. Discover how KickSaaS Legal can protect your brand.

Protecting your brand is an essential step in safeguarding and capitalizing on your business efforts. Let us help you make this step with confidence and clarity, ensuring your brand stands out and remains protected in today's competitive landscape.

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