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Guide To Trademark Filing Fees

April 01, 20247 min read

As a business owner, you want to protect your business in every way possible. From ensuring you have the proper licenses to paying for the required insurance policies, you have taken all the steps you can think of to protect your business. If your next step is protecting your intellectual property, you may have questions before moving forward with trademark registration. One of the biggest questions is: what trademark filing fees will you need to pay? This can be a particularly important question if you are just getting started in your business and do not have a substantial amount available to invest. You may want to register your trademark in the least expensive way possible, but is that the best option for your business? An experienced Kansas trademark attorney at Grabbe Law Office may be able to help you determine how to register your trademark and save you money in the process. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today to discuss your trademark needs. 

What Is the Filing Fee for a Trademark?

At one time, businesses could save money by filing a paper application to register their trademark. As of February 15, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires all applicants to file their applications electronically with very limited exceptions. There are two options for electronic filing: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. In all cases, trademark filing fees are generally nonrefundable, even if the registration is refused.

 

TEAS Plus Fees

TEAS Plus is the simpler and faster version of the application, though it does require more information. When using this application, individuals must choose descriptions of their goods and services from the USPTO’s Trademark ID Manual. TEAS Plus application fee is $250 per class of goods and services. While each application can only be for one trademark, that one trademark can be used for multiple classes of goods and services (with fees for additional classes). 

TEAS Standard Fees

TEAS Standard is the more customizable version of the application. This version allows the applicant to write a fully personalized description of their goods and services rather than choosing from the precompiled options. Due to this customization, TEAS Standard application fee is $350 per class of goods and services. Like TEAS Plus, each application can be for only one trademark, but that trademark can be used for more than one class of goods and services (again with additional fees for additional classes). 

Additional Trademark Filing Fees

In addition to the basic trademark filing fees, there are other fees that may be incurred depending on the basis for filing. There are two options for filing basis: use in commerce and intent-to-use. Use in commerce means that the applicant is already using the trademark, while intent-to-use means that they are registering the mark in preparation for future use. 

If an applicant is filing under the intent-to-use basis, there are two other fees that they may need to pay. One is a fee to request an extension of the time allowed to show use of the mark, which is $125 per class. The second fee is a $100 fee per class for showing use of the mark. These fees are only applicable if the extension request or the show of use are not included in the initial application. 

What Other Fees Are Required To File and Maintain a Trademark?

The initial application fees are not the only fees that an applicant will need to pay in order to register and maintain their trademark. There are several other trademark filing fees that may be required. The most common fees that applicants face include: 

  • Abandonment fees: If the application is placed in an abandoned status at any point during the registration process, there is a $150 petition fee to resume the application process. This fee can be avoided by ensuring the application is monitored and does not get marked as abandoned. 

  • Section 8 Declaration: If the trademark is registered, between the registration’s fifth and sixth years, this form must be filed along with a $225 filing fee for each class of goods and services. There is a six-month grace period after the due date, but there is an additional $100 filing fee for every class for a total of $325 per class if filed in the allocated grace period. 

  • Renewal fees: Between years nine and 10, and every 10 years after that, a combined declaration of use and/or excusable nonuse and application for renewal under Sections 8 and 9 (combined filing) is required. This filing has a $525 for each class of goods and services fee if paid on time, or $725 for every class if paid while the grace period is in effect. 

The USPTO fee schedule does indicate other fees for specific circumstances, including Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) fees, Madrid Protocol fees, and assorted service fees. An experienced trademark attorney with Grabbe Law Office may be able to assist you in determining which other fees, if any, may apply to your trademark application. 

What Is the Cheapest Way To Protect My Intellectual Property?

The least expensive way to register a trademark would be state registration with the Kansas Secretary of State. Kansas state’s trademark filing fees are $40 for the initial filing fee and the process is similar to the federal process. Additionally, there is a renewal fee of $40 every five years and the mark must still be in use at the time of renewal. The renewal application must be filed before the current registration expires or a new registration application will need to be filed. 

Business owners should consider that the least expensive way to trademark may not be the most valuable for their business. Registering a trademark with the state of Kansas only provides protection within the state of Kansas. If business owners are selling or planning to sell goods or services across state lines, a federal registration may better serve their needs. Federal registrations provide greater protections, including providing a basis for filing trademark registrations in foreign countries and exclusive use of the trademark throughout the United States. A trademark attorney may be able to assist business owners in determining whether a state or federal registration is more suited to their needs. 

How Can Hiring an Experienced Intellectual Property Attorney Save Me Money On a Trademark?

There is no legal requirement to have an attorney when registering a trademark. Individuals and businesses are free to file their own trademark application and many have successfully done so. Some business owners look at the fees associated with filing a trademark and think that adding on an attorney’s fees will make their expenses higher. While this may be true, this initial extra cost may save money in the long-term. Consider the following ways that an attorney may save businesses money when paying trademark filing fees: 

  • Application: An attorney may be able to properly fill out and submit the trademark application, possibly avoiding registration refusal due to an incomplete or incorrect application. This may save businesses the additional expense of filing a second or subsequent application, trying to properly fill out the application. 

  • Office Actions: During the application process, the USPTO may send Office Actions. These are often requests for more information and require a thoroughly researched and appropriately worded response. An attorney may be able to do this research and write this response on the business’s behalf, saving the business time and potentially avoiding a registration refusal or the application being considered abandoned. 

  • Lawsuits: From the initial search for conflicting marks to other legal disputes, an attorney may be able to conduct research and ensure that a business’s trademark does not infringe on another trademark as well as fill out the application properly. This may help avoid infringement claims and other disputes due to application errors. 

Business owners may also want to consider the time they would need to spend learning the trademark process, filling out the application, and responding to Office Actions, and potentially needing to do so more than once if the initial application is denied. Some business owners may determine that this time would be better spent bringing in new clients, creating new products, or otherwise making money. In those cases, they may decide that the fees associated with hiring an attorney are worth being able to focus on other aspects of their business. 

Do You Have Other Questions About Trademark Filing Fees?

While there are no legal requirements to register a trademark, doing so does offer several protections an unregistered trademark does not have, including the right to sue for infringement and the exclusive right to use the trademark. The fees associated with registering a trademark may be well worth the peace of mind they provide. If you have other questions regarding trademark filing fees or anything else related to trademarks, an experienced Kansas trademark attorney with Grabbe Law Office may be able to assist you. Schedule a 15-minute free consultation to go over your trademark concerns.

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Julie Grabbe

Julie Grabbe

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