Costs to Trademark your Brand
The costs to trademark a business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip depends on the number, kind of marks, and the number of classes of use that you want to protect. Filing a registration application for your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip will cost between $250 and $350 per class, plus attorney fees. Carson Patentsʼ typical attorney fees are between $800 – $1600 to conduct the business name use search and to prepare, file, and monitor your trademark application at the USPTO through the receipt of the review of the examining attorney.
The costs to trademark may include application prosecution costs. Based on the review of the examining attorney, and other USPTO actions required, there may be additional attorney fees to prepare and file a complete and proper response. Carson Patentsʼ typical attorney fees are between $800 – $2000 to prepare and file a complete and proper response to an official letter from the USPTO. We average about $1300 for most trademark registration prosecution actions.
When to Apply to Register a Trademark
Apply for Registration When Ready
The bottom line is that the time to apply to register your business name or logo as a trade or service mark is when you are ready. The same is true for slogans and audio clips (sound bytes) – apply to register when you are ready. Businesses commonly register marks in conjunction with putting up websites and starting to sell products. It is also common and acceptable to register after it has been in use. In fact, showing evidence of “use in commerce” is a part of a trademark application.
If the intent is to get the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clips registered with the initial application, the first application must include evidence showing the mark is being used in commerce. Thus, using your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip before you file is part of a successful registration filing.
Using the Name and Logo First Makes Registration Easier
It can be easier to register a business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip as a trade or service mark after it has been in use for a while. Any amount or length of time using the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip is useful because showing use in commerce is necessary. Using a business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip for years before registration is not uncommon. In fact, if you apply to register your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip before you use it, there is an additional filing required later to show use in commerce.
If your application is acceptable but does not show use in commerce, your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip may get listed on the supplemental register awaiting as much as 5 years of use before filing a use in commerce statement to get placed on the principal register.
Importantly, filing before using means the costs to trademark are likely to be greater. This is because if we file without showing use in commerce in the initial application, we will have to file a use in commerce statement at some later date. Filing use in commerce is required to complete the registration of the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip. This is because when we file without use in commerce, even if the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip is acceptable, the USPTO will send us an office action telling us we need to submit proof of use in commerce.
State Business Name Registration Before Filing Recommended
Registering Your Business Name with Your State Should be First
Business name registration with your state is important. Don’t forget to register your business name with the state where you established your business. The cost to trademark a logo or business name does not include the costs of state business name registration. If you are interested in using a trademark, you can apply as soon as you start using the business name, but it is best to be sure you are registered with your state before applying. Businesses typically register their names with their state and local authorities before applying to register a trademark. However, provided that no one else is using it, your business name is protected as soon as you start using it.
To register a business name with a state, there is a search required to ensure no one else is using the business name. However, without registration, common law protects you locally from another business using your same name. Best practice is to always register your business name with your state as you start the business.
States Register Trade and Service Marks Too – USPTO Registration is Federal
You can also register your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip for a trademark in your state. The individual states offer registration, but importantly, a registration at the USPTO is federal.
State trademarking example – California
Example: How much does it cost to trademark a name in California? The filing fee is $70 per class. The trademark fee schedule for California and all of the forms as fillable pdfs are available online on the Secretary of States’ “Forms and Fees” webpage.
Advantage of Federal Registration
The advantages of USPTO registration include the ability to register the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip effectively in all 50 states. Further, once registered at the USPTO, the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip can be registered internationally as well as in other individual countries. Also, USPTO registration of your business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip means you can sue in federal court to protect your branding. Additionally, registering ensures you are not violating another business name by using a similar name.
Note the costs to trademark a name do not include the costs of registration with any state or any international trademark registration. USPTO trademark costs do not include any state registration.
Available Trademark Help Online
Carson Patents – 4 Steps to Registration for Trademark and Service Marks:  business search,  write application,  submit application, and  respond to examiner a trademark application for your logo, brand, slogan, and/or business name.
Carson Patents maintains relationships with several of the best trademark attorneys available. When our team is not available to help our affiliates are.