Your brand name or logo is an important part of your business.
Whether you sell goods or provide services, your brand is how customers identify you.
Registering a trademark allows you to protect the association your customers have with the goods and services of your business.
However, if you’ve spent any time researching how to file a trademark, you’ve probably seen that just the filing fee is going to cost a few hundred dollars.
Some attorneys will charge a flat fee for filing a trademark application; others will bill by the hour. Fortunately, finding an affordable trademark attorney near you is easy if you know what to look for.
Below, the experienced team at The Polasek Law Firm explains what a trademark is and gives tips on when and why you should hire a trademark lawyer.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is any word, name, logo, slogan, or symbol used to identify the goods or services of the seller.
Because trademarks are identified with an individual’s or business’s goods or services, it is important that individuals and businesses in the same or similar spaces do not use trademarks that are likely to confuse consumers.
How Much Does a Trademark Registration Cost?
The cost of registering a trademark has two main parts: USPTO fees and trademark lawyer fees.
At a minimum, filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for one class of goods or services (i.e. one type of goods) costs approximately $350.
When it comes to attorney fees, the exact cost will vary depending on the facts particular to your situation. Preparing and filing the application likely will cost several hundred dollars of attorney time.
After the application is filed, it will be examined by the USPTO. Depending on what, if any, issues are raised by the trademark examiner will have a large impact on additional attorney time.
Tip #1: Figure Out How Much Help You Need
Knowing how much help you will need from a trademark registration attorney is something to keep in mind when searching for an affordable trademark attorney. If you decide to consult an attorney, have the information ready.
Your attorney will want to know what the mark is, who is using the mark, the date the mark was first used (if it is being used), and the date it was first used in commerce.
If you are using the mark, your attorney will want a specimen of use of the mark. If you can readily provide this information to your attorney, it will streamline the preparation of the application.
A trademark attorney will generally charge a separate fee for each step, depending on its complexity.
The general process includes:
- Conducting a search for other marks that may be confusingly similar;
- Determining whether your mark is confusingly similar to an existing registration or pending application;
- Preparing and filing the trademark application;
- Responding to office actions, if necessary; and
- After registration, monitoring the trademark and filing renewal statements.
Tip #2: Speak with Several Trademark Attorneys
Many affordable trademark lawyers offer an initial free consultation. During this conversation, you have the opportunity to explain some basics of your situation and what legal services you need. Use this time to find out how much the attorney charges and what your specific needs will cost.
It will also give you an opportunity to evaluate whether you want to work with that person. Ask yourself, was this trademark lawyer willing to take the time to discuss your matter and explain the process? Did the lawyer return your inquiry or call timely?
Tip #3: Consider the Attorney’s Experience
How much experience they have can affect whether a trademark attorney is affordable. While more experienced attorneys are usually more expensive, this isn’t always the case.
Experienced attorneys may be more efficient. It’s important to speak with any attorneys you are interested in to make sure you don’t pass up an experienced attorney with affordable rates.