LEGAL GUIDE
Written by Avvo Staff | May 4, 2016

How much does it cost to trademark a name

A trademark can legally protect a name, word, phrase, logo, design, symbol, or even color that you associate with a product.

A trademark helps consumers identify your product and differentiate it from others. A legally valid trademark generally prohibits others from using that mark, or sometimes even similar marks.

How do you create a trademark?

There are 2 ways to obtain a trademark.

  1. Use the trademark in commerce, which generally means using the mark in association with your particular product.
  2. Register your trademark, either federally or with the state you are using it in.

State vs. federal trademark registration

State trademark registration is usually less expensive than federal registration, ranging from $50 to $100 per trademark, depending on the state. State registration is also best suited for trademarks that you use in the state. If you only use your trademark in 1 state, then it will likely not qualify for federal registration.

Federal registration is for trademarks that you will use in several states. The cost ranges from $225 to $325 per trademark, depending on which type of application you make through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The USPTO offers 3 types of federal trademark applications, through its Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS):

TEAS Plus

The TEAS Plus is $225 and is only for registration on the Principal Register, versus both the Principal and Supplemental Registers.

For this application, you must follow strict guidelines, including using a specific identification from the USPTO Trademark Manual, using specific colors and other mark-related information, and agreeing to email correspondence with the USPTO throughout the application process.

TEAS Reduced

The TEAS Reduced is $275 and allows you to register for both the Principal and Supplemental Registers, which allows for the most protection of your mark.

While the guidelines for this application are not as strict as the TEAS Plus, you must still agree to email correspondence throughout the application process. This involves having to electronically file certain submissions and USPTO actions as requested.

TEAS Regular

The TEAS Regular application costs $325 and also allows you to register on both the Principal and Supplemental Registers.

For this application, you do not have to follow the guidelines as you would for the TEAS Plus and the TEAS Regular applications. This provides the most legal protection.

What the benefits of registering a trademark

While you do not have to register a trademark in order to protect it, registration provides additional legal protection. If you do not register a trademark, others may try to claim your mark by using it in commerce or registering it before you do.

Registering your trademark could protect you by:

  • Giving you the right to use the trademark.
  • Notifying others that you are using the mark.
  • Allowing you to more easily bring an infringement lawsuit against anyone who uses your mark.

In addition, after a certain period of time, you may obtain the exclusive right to use it, which makes your trademark incontestable.

Keep in mind that if you only register your trademark with the state, people may use the same or similar mark in other states. State registration only protects your mark as it is used within the state it is registered. If you register your trademark federally, other users of the mark in all states will likely be prohibited from using it.

How can an attorney help me with obtaining trademark registration?

An attorney can review with you the many rules that govern trademark law, including how you could lose your trademark, whether you are using it “in commerce” properly, or whether it is even advisable to register at all.

In addition, the USPTO rejects over 50% of applications each year. An attorney can give you the best chance of success from the start, and review your trademark to make sure there are no problems. While this will cost money, it is less expensive than later getting an attorney to fix a rejected application.

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