How much does it cost to have an attorney file a trademark application?

The very short answer

is $1200. There are, of course, caveats and details. The first is that when I say “an attorney” I mean “me.” Other attorneys may differ.

If you’re interested in talking about your trademark needs, to see if we might be a good attorney-client fit, then please contact me. Please bear in mind that the description in this post is only meant as a general guideline, and is not an offer that you can just accept. Before I will take you on as a client and start work, we have to talk on the phone, go over your specific facts to make sure that they fit the flat-fee pricing, ensure that no attorney ethics rules or laws prohibit me from representing you, and sign an engagement letter.

The long answer

is that my $1200 flat fee includes preparing and filing the application as well as USPTO filing fees for one “class” or category of services. First I will do some more background research to check for other conflicting marks. If you end up not filing because of the results of that search, you’d just pay me for an hour of my time (as of the time of this writing, $310), for the search. If you proceed with filing the mark then that is included in the $1200 flat fee.

More detailed searches. The flat fee includes one hour of background searching, which is typically sufficient for many business owners. For complex searches that would take me longer than an hour, I will tell you in advance, and bill you hourly for the search time over one hour.  If you want to do more extensive background research to further reduce the risk of conflicts, there are commercial research services that can be incorporated to generate more information and analysis, but at additional cost. This often makes sense where you have to commit to a name for an expensive product launch. 

I will make sure you understand the process. The flat fee also includes answering your questions about the application and trademark law generally. I think this is what distinguishes me from many other attorney-led services that operate on a flat fee model and might charge a bit less. I’m an actual person, you know who you are going to be talking with, and as part of the flat fee I will take the time to make sure that you understand what’s going on.

Additional classes. Additional classes come up if your business covers more than one general type of business. Like if you do business consulting, that’s class 35. If you do IT consulting also, that’s another class, 42. If you sell hats with your company logo on it, that’s class 25. Each class is an additional $275 (or sometimes $225 depending on whether the classes all exist in the pre-approved list). So if you had me prepare a trademark application for all three of those, the cost would be $1,650 to $1,750.

Explaining the results. The flat fee also includes explaining the results of the trademark examiners’ analysis of the mark. If the examiner has objections to the mark or wants changes, those are usually extra at my hourly rate, although for very simple and quick ones – like sometimes the examiner will want minor changes to the application – I don’t charge for it. The ones where it might cost significantly more money is if the examiner has significant objections that require a response with legal analysis. Those are usually caused by the mark being descriptive, or from one or more conflicting marks.

I will help with responding to more complex office actions, but there is no flat fee for those. Each situation is different and depends on the legal specifics of the office action.

Additional costs for intent-to-use applications.

What “intent-to-use” means. An “intent-to-use” application means that you haven’t started selling your goods or services in commerce yet. It’s a prospective name, for a planned product or service, where you are doing the trademark filing in order to start establishing rights in the name. If your goods and services are already “in commerce” at the time of the filing, then that’s a “standard” application and these additional costs don’t pertain.

Cost for the allegation to allege use. If you are doing an intent-to-use trademark application, then there will be additional attorney time (usually about $150) and a USPTO filing fee ($100) when you start using it “in commerce”. This is for a filing called an “allegation to allege use”, to let the USPTO know that that “in commerce” uses started, and to submit a “specimen” as evidence.

Cost for extensions of time. In addition, sometimes intent-to-users run into costs keeping their trademark application alive until they start using the goods and commerce. Starting around one year after the filing date, you start having to file extension request to let the USPTO the know that you want to keep the application alive. These cost either $225 or $275 per class, plus about $100 of attorney time to matter how many classes there are. If you have an application that has three classes in it, and I can start to get to be a significant expense that your business is incurring every six months.

This post doesn’t cover every possible scenario.

This post covers about 90% of the most common trademark application scenarios that I encounter with small business owners. However, all this comes of the caveat that it might be subject to change or cost increase; and that your situation might be in the other 10% that is not the standard-issue scenario described here.

If you’re interested in talking about your trademark needs, to see if we might be a good attorney-client fit, then please contact me.

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