When you apply for a trademark, it’s important to understand your options because they impact the fees you’ll pay.
Actual Use v. Intent to Use
Broadly speaking, there are two types of trademark applications:
- Actual Use: If you file based on actual use of a mark in commerce, you will usually only pay one filing fee for the application itself. That fee is between $225 and $400 (per mark, per class (see below for more on that)).
- Intent to Use: If you file based on intent to use a mark in commerce in the future, you will usually pay two sets of filing fees for the application. First, you’ll pay the fee outlined above ($225 to $400); and second, you’ll pay a fee to file a Statement of Use later to prove you are actually using the mark in commerce ($100). You have to file that Statement of Use within a set time frame, which can be extended in certain situations for additional filing fees ($125).
What Does “Per Mark, Per Class” Mean?
If you file for just your word mark (your business name, for example), that’s one “mark.” If you also file for your logo, that’s a second “mark,” which must be filed separately. And if you add your tagline, that’s another “mark.” The point is, the filing fees are per mark.
Moreover, the default fee is just for one class of goods/services. For example, if you want to register the mark in connection to beer and also clothing (two classes), you’ll have to double the fee. And if you want to add in food service (three classes), you may have to triple the fee.
Here’s an example:
- An application for the word mark NewCo in connection to beer will likely cost $225.
- If you want both both the word mark and the logo for beer, it would be $450 ($225 * 2 marks).
- If you want the word mark for both beer and clothing, it would be $450 ($225 * 2 classes).
- If you want both the word mark and the logo for both of beer and clothing, it would be $900 ($225 * 2 marks * 2 classes).
The Base Fee is $225 but it goes up to $400
The USPTO has three application forms: TEAS Plus, TEAS RF, and TEAS Regular.
Generally speaking, most startups, freelancers, and small businesses applying for a trademark registration will be able to use the TEAS Plus form, which costs $225. You have to use a pre-defined class of goods/services and manage your applications electronically through the USPTO website (among other requirements). If you don’t meet those requirements, you may have to use the TEAS RF (which is $275 per mark, per class) or the TEAS Regular (which is $400 per mark, per class).
However, in most cases, the TEAS Plus form will work.
The fees above are just the filing fees with the USPTO. You should also consider fees for running a professional trademark search and legal fees. Although every firm is different, Kansas City’s Venture Legal has fixed fees for most trademark applications. You can learn about those on our pricing page. The search fee also depends on the company you use. We use one that usually charged $213 (as of February 2019).
To learn more about your application options, fees, and how we work with startups, freelancers, and small businesses, contact us.
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.