Flat Rates for Trademark Application and Examination
We take a different approach to structuring our trademark services. Please find some quick answers below to common received questions about how our flat rates work.
How much does it cost to file a trademark application?
Each trademark application and examination is unique. This can vary the total amount required for seeing the application through and ideally securing federal registration of your trademark.
Pricing for the initial application includes a base price (determined on an application-by-application basis) for drafting, filing, and all correspondence with the attorney to accurately capture the goods and services related to your trademark. Our base price includes coverage of one class of goods and services. Additional classes of goods and services can be added to the application for $250 each. If more than one additional class will be added (three or more classes total), the additional class price of $250 will be required for each class over the first one. For example, if a trademark application requires three classes of goods and services, the first class is included with the base price and two additional classes will need to be added to the total price at $250 each ($500 total).
For classes based on an intent to use in the future, no additional funds are needed at the time of filing.
The USPTO requires a $350 governmental filing fee per class to file the application.
At some point in the application process, evidence of use will need to be submitted to the USPTO. Our price of $250 per class for preparing the evidence of use and attending to the filing is the same regardless of when it occurs in the application process. However, the USPTO will require an additional $100 fee from you for each class if the evidence is submitted after the initial application filing. If you are able to and would like to include the evidence of use at the time of the initial filing, we will include our price to prepare the evidence of use on the initial invoice to help you avoid the additional $100 per class USPTO fee needed if proving use later.
What is covered with application drafting and filing for my trademark?
The initial funding of the trademark application includes review, analysis, and drafting time required to complete the application. With the base price, this includes one class of goods or services, assertion of an intent-to-use basis for this class if appropriate, preparation of professional drawings if needed, and electronic filing of the application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
When the final draft of your trademark application is complete and approved by you, it is filed with the USPTO. We will not file the application without your approval to make sure it accurately includes what you wish to protect.
Included with the trademark application, we perform a preliminary identical trademark search before starting any application with the goal of locating obviously problematic registrations or applications in the USPTO databases. While this is not a comprehensive search and does not guarantee a trademark application will result in registration, we do this search to help not waste your money pursuing registration for trademarks that would be unlikely to accomplish or very difficult to acquire.
The application costs only cover drafting and filing the application. These activities conclude when the trademark application is filed with the USPTO. Costs involved with examination will begin in about 3-4 months after filing.
Is the application price on the formal quote the total price for the whole trademark process?
No. The formal quote states the price for the initial drafting and filing of the application and the other activities listed on the quote. About 3-4 months after the initial filing, examination begins. Typically 5-6 events occur during examination, each of which will be docketed in our systems and reported out to you through our secure online portal. Each of these required events are invoiced at $100 each to cover our time, portal access, and to provide you with an open line of communication to our attorneys without being billed on an hourly basis for each call you make or email you send.
In some applications, the USPTO Examining Attorney may issue an Office Action with a request for amendments to the application or requirement to argue against their refusals to register the trademark. This is why the rough estimate of total costs is given as a range — since it is unknown whether an Office Action will be received and, if so, what the Examining Attorney will include in it. While not all applications receive Office Actions, it is fairly common during examination and shouldn’t cause alarm if received in your application. If an Office Action is received, it will be docketed in our systems and reported out in plain language. The funds required to respond to the Office Action will also be included with the reporting letter, which will be based on the work needed to respond to all of the actions raised by the Examining Attorney.
Do I have to pay the full amount to start the trademark application?
No. To fund the trademark application, the flat rate amount stated in your formal quote for each designated trademark with consideration to the total number classes included and whether evidence of use will be filed with the initial application, is needed before work begins. The amount quoted is for the completion of the application and the required USPTO government filing fees to file your application with the USPTO. Work on your trademark application will begin soon after you choose to pay the initial invoice. The initial invoice will have no set due date, allowing you to begin the application process when you are ready. We will not pressure you to begin before you are ready.
Any costs relating to examination will be requested as events occur and are not included in the initial invoice.
How does flat rate invoicing work?
For trademark applications and most other work, we use flat rate invoicing wherever possible. We choose to use a flat rate structure over an hourly structure to help people and companies set predictable budgets. We also offer continuing access to our attorneys during the process of your application under this flat rate structure. Our approach with flat rate invoicing allows you to pay a predictable amount and avoid the headache of being billed hourly for each time you need to ask a question or send an email. We prefer you to be able to ask questions if you have them and not worry about whether the answer is worth a price.
What are the government filing fees and how much are these?
The USPTO requires a filing fee for each class of goods and services included in a trademark application. The standard filing fee is $400 for each class included with the trademark application. While these fees are required by the government, we help you save on costs by filing electronically and conducting a paperless examination, lower filing costs to $350 for each class.
In some cases, the Examining Attorney may require new classes in the application after filing. If this requirement is made by the Examining Attorney, you can decide to (a) add the new class, or (b) remove some of the listed goods or services from the existing classes to avoid having to pay an additional filing fee.
Other governmental fees can include submission of evidence showing use after the initial application filing. These fees are $100 for each class in which evidence of use is submitted.
For more information about USPTO fees please follow the below link.
Do you charge an hourly rate for work in the trademark application?
In most cases, no. The majority of trademark applications we handle will not incur any hourly billing. Most trademark applications allow us to work on a flat rate invoicing structure for the duration of your application.
While rare, it is possible that a third party could initiate an opposition proceeding after your application is published by the USPTO. Whether an opposition will occur in your application is outside of our control, since it must be initiated by a third party. However, since the vast majority of trademark applications do not experience opposition, the chances of an hourly rate being needed here is low.
Also uncommon, a final step in a difficult trademark application may include an appeal of the Examining Attorney’s final decision. Since the steps in an appeal are very difficult to predict, an hourly rate will be needed to address the Examining Attorney’s positions, conduct any necessary legal research, and investigative work exceeding the scope of the rough estimate given in the formal quote.
What are the USPTO correspondence letters?
After your trademark application is filed with the USPTO, the examination process to register your trademark begins. There are typically 5-6 events that happen in each trademark application (approval, notice of publication, publication in the USPTO Trademark Official Gazette, close of the publication window, registration, and in some cases an Office Action). Each of these events occur over time, typically stretching out over 6-9 months.
Examination starts with a first event, typically about 3-4 months after application filing. For each of these examination events, the official correspondence from the USPTO is retrieved, deadlines are docketed, a letter reporting the event is prepared, and the information you need is posted to our secure and encrypted online portal. Each of these events are handled at $100 per event, which also gives you access to the attorney for any questions about the event and examination in general.
What are the events that could occur during examination that would be invoiced separately?
During the trademark application process, several stages occur after initial filing as you pursue registration of the trademark. In most trademark applications, the following events are commonly part of the application process:
- Approval for publication
- Notice of publication
- Publication of the trademark application in the TM Official Gazette
- Close of the publication period
- Notice of allowance (only for applications in which use is not yet proven)
- Registration (for applications in which use is proven)
During the trademark application timeline, it is possible to receive an Office Action to continue the examination process. While Office Actions are not received in every trademark application, they are not uncommon. Office Actions can vary in their complexity. For example, a simple Office Action could range anywhere from $400-800, while a more complex Office Action could require more effort, resulting in being up to and possibly exceeding $2,000. We treat each Office Action individually and will go over all recommended amendments and arguments to address the points raised by the Examining Attorney and continue the trademark examination process with the USPTO.
How will I know when a payment is due and what is the time-frame to make a payment?
Your first payment will be due when you are ready to begin your trademark application. You are in control of when work on the trademark application begins by when you choose to pay the initial invoice.
After the events in the trademark examination process begin, each event will be invoiced in an easily payable flat rate invoice through our secure client portal. You will receive an email notification when a new invoice becomes available and time frame to submit payment. In most cases, about a month is given to pay invoices for examination events.
You can pay online through your secure portal using e-check or credit card. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% credit card processing fee. There is no processing fee required for payment by e-check.
Do you offer payment plans?
No. With our flat rate structure, we have to collect payment on invoices before work can be performed. To help our clients with this requirement, we accept payment by credit card so you can independently finance the application through your issuing bank.