Trademarking your brand: cost, factors, and saving tips

Trademarking your brand: cost, factors, and saving tips

A trademark is a powerful tool that helps differentiate your goods or services from those of competitors, establishes brand identity, and builds brand recognition. Registering a trademark can also provide exclusive rights to use that mark and prevent others from using a similar mark in the same marketplace. However, trademark registration can be a complex and costly process, which can vary depending on various factors. 

In this blog, we will discuss the importance of trademarking your brand, the cost of registering a trademark, and factors that can affect the cost, along with cost-saving tips to help make the process more affordable.

What is a trademark

A trademark is a word, phrase, design, or symbol that acts as a unique identifier and differentiates your goods and services from competitors. A trademark is used for goods, while a service mark is used for services.
It is a unique mark that is used to establish brand identity, reputation, and recognition in the marketplace. Trademarks are registered with a government agency and give the owner exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with the goods or services specified in the registration, and to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark in the same marketplace.

Importance of trademarking a brand

It is essential to register a trademark as it gives your brand an exclusive right to use that mark, which helps prevent competitors from using the same or similar mark.

Moreover, a trademark helps in enhanced brand recognition and brand loyalty, making it easier for customers to associate with the brand. For example, when you picture Amazon, your first thought likely goes towards their signature A to Z arrow.

Having a registered trademark is also often associated with the standard and quality of business in the minds of consumers.

Overview of the cost

The cost of registering a trademark varies depending on numerous factors, including the type of trademark, the country and the number of classes it will be registered in.

For Example, In the United States, registering a trademark with the USPTO starts from $250 and can go up to $700. Apart from the initial fee, there might be additional costs for legal services and expenses.

However, it is to be noted that the cost of registering a trademark in other countries can be higher or lower than in the U.S. and may include additional local counsel and translation fees.

Factors that affect the cost of trademarking your brand

The cost of registering a trademark depends on various factors such as the type of trademark, geographic location, and legal representation fee.

Type of trademark application 
In the United States, for example, to register a trademark, the mark should be already in your use, or you intend to use it in commerce.

  • In use: If the mark you want to register is already in use, you can file a trademark application based on “use“. 
  • Intent to use: An application can be filed when the applicant has not used the mark yet but plans on using it in the future. 

Legal representation
Majority of the countries do not require an individual or company to have legal representation when filing for a trademark. However, in the US, it will be mandatory to have a US-licensed trademark attorney on file if you are an individual or company that is currently not based in US. The same applies to EU countries, the individual or company will need to have a EU-based legal representative on file in order to register a trademark.

Although an additional cost, it can be helpful to seek the guidance of a trademark attorney or agent who is familiar with the trademark laws and filing requirements of the country where you are seeking trademark protection in. An attorney can assist you in preparing and submitting your trademark application, and can provide advice on any issues that may arise during the application process. Additionally, a trademark attorney can help you monitor your trademark and take action against any infringers.

However, hiring an experienced attorney can help with name searches, conduct your trademark clearance, and file your application.

You can also consider online trademark platforms like Digip. We offer everything from name search, application filing, and filling and monitoring after registration, all under one roof.

Geographic scope
The cost of registering a trademark depends on the geographical location, which varies from country to country. 

The official body for registering a trademark in the United States is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). For the United Kingdom, United Kingdom the Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and  World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to apply for an international application where you can select from a pool of 125 countries.

Government filing fees
The cost of the initial application fee depends on factors such as the number of marks, number of classes, and application filling option selected. 

If you file through the USPTO, you can choose to use the paper-based application method; it usually costs $750 for each class of service or goods.

Additional fees may apply for extensions of time to file, requests for expedited processing, and other services. It is important to note that these fees may change over time and vary from country to country.

Legal representation fee
Besides the government fees for filing an application, there are additional attorney fees to consider. In the U.S, an IP lawyer typically charges $300 to $1000 per application.

Additional cost: setting up trademark watch/monitor
The cost of setting up a trademark monitoring service can vary depending on the level of monitoring, the number of trademarks, and the service provider. On average, the cost to monitor a trademark can range from $200 to $300 per year. Some service providers may offer additional services, such as infringement analysis, trademark research, and trademark protection advice, which can increase the cost. 

It is important to monitor your trademark regularly to ensure that it is not being used without your permission and to take legal action against infringers. A trademark monitoring service can help you keep track of potential infringements and protect your brand.

Cost-saving tips when trademarking your brand

Save money on trademark registration by conducting a thorough search, filing electronically, using online filing services, limiting the number of classes, and responding promptly to office actions. These tips can help you avoid legal disputes, reduce government filing fees, and save on additional attorney fees. With these cost-saving tips, you can protect your brand without breaking the bank.

File your trademark application electronically

If you’re filing in the United States, yoou can cut the application filling cost by half if you register through Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). An Electronic application will typically cost you $250 to $350 compared to a paper-based application which can cost up to $750 per class.

Conduct a thorough trademark search

Conducting thorough trademark searches is of utmost importance in the United States, as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may reject a trademark application if a brand with identical or similar elements exists within the same classification.

Using online trademarking solutions like Digip
While hiring a law firm or IP lawyer may cost you a lot, online platforms like Digip can cover everything from name search to filing an application and monitoring it at a fraction of the cost.

Limit the number of classes
Registering a trademark in multiple classes can increase the cost of filing fees. Limiting the number of classes in which you are registering your trademark can help reduce costs. However, it is advisable to file for registration in all relevant classes that are required to comprehensively cover the full range of products and services offered. Failure to do so may leave certain areas of the brand unprotected, rendering the brand vulnerable to potential infringement.