• The USPTO is raising many fees in 2021.
  • Some other fees will decrease or go away.
  • A trademark is still a worthwhile investment

Trademark Cost Change: USPTO Updates Fees in 2021

How much does a trademark cost? The answer is about to change. On January 2nd, 2021, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will implement a fee change that’s been a couple of years coming. Many fees will rise, but some will decrease and others will be removed entirely.

Despite these increases, however, the fees still pale next to the benefits of having a trademark. It protects your IP, lends legitimacy to your venture, and adds a ton of value to your business.

Some of the biggest benefits of a US trademark:

  1. It notifies the public that you are the owner
  2. It gives you a presumption of ownership nationwide
  3. It gives you the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with your goods and/or services, and can be helpful if you need to stop others from trying to copy your branding
  4. It gives your company a tangible asset that can increase the price for investors or future buyers
  5. It shows clients, vendors, and others that you are serious about your branding (and lets you use the official ® mark next to your trademark)

Why is the trademark cost going up?

A fee change?! In this economy?! Essentially, the USPTO needs to account for their own operating costs. First announced last summer, the changes respond to a biannual review that found an adjustment necessary to keep the office on budgetary track. The pandemic complicated their plans, of course, but they factored current economic conditions into their decision alongside operational needs and public comments. After a series of announcements and public hearings in 2019, the USPTO released the

Whatever their reasoning, however, the fee increases are still a bummer. With businesses continuing to suffer under pandemic conditions, it still seems an inopportune time.

How much does a trademark cost now?

It depends! The trademark cost varies depending on the goods or services your mark will protect, whether or not you’re using it in commerce yet, and any ancillary services you want or require. In general, a standard application starts at $225. If you need to file in multiple classes (i.e. if you use your goods or services in multiple ways), you’ll need to file multiple applications.

Additional fees accrue if you haven’t used your mark in commerce when you apply and if you need more time. Most of these are either $100 or $125.

You can find the full USPTO fee schedule as it currently stands here. Again, the changes will take effect on January 2nd, 2021.

How much will a trademark cost after the change?

Most of the fees will increase about $100. We’ve emphasized the changes for the most common fees for this post, but the USPTO outlines all the changes in a nice summary, available here. We’ve also added parenthetical explainers in italics.

Application and application-related fees

  • TEAS Standard: $350 per class, up from $275 per class
    (the application that gives more flexibility, like allowing owners to apply for protection for goods and/or services that are not already in the USPTO database)
  • TEAS Plus: $250 per class, up from $225 per class
    (the basic application with more requirements for the applicant)
  • Processing fee if you apply using the TEAS Plus application but fail to meet TEAS Plus requirements: $100 per class, down from $125 per class

Post registration fees

  • Section 8 or 71 declaration filed through TEAS: $225 per class, up from $125 per class
    (the online form that you must file 5-6 years after trademark registration to show you are still using the mark)
  • New feefor deleting goods, services, and/or classes from a registration after submitting a section 8 or 71 declaration, but before the declaration is accepted: $250 per class if filed through TEAS
  • There will be no fee if you electronically file a section 7 “request to amend your registration” before submitting a section 8 or 71 declaration and only delete goods, services, and/or classes in the request (otherwise, the current fee for filing a section 7 request through TEAS is $100)…

Paper filing fee changes

Fees for certain Trademark and TTAB filings that are permitted to be submitted on paper will increase to help offset their higher processing costs. See the Final Rule for these changes.

In addition, the USPTO codified their procedures for letters of protest, and changed fees related to TTAB and Petitions to the Director/letter of protest.

How much does a trademark attorney cost?

This is a lot of information to process, especially by yourself. Trust us, nobody should have to grind through the USPTO alone. It usually takes about a year, and having a reliable and consistent partner through the entire journey cannot be overvalued. Fortunately, the attorneys at G & G Law have years of experience with trademark applications and maintenance, from start to finish.

We start with an in-depth search to check that your mark is available. This can save you a lot of effort and heartache before you become too attached to a certain name or logo, or alert you of potential conflicts with the mark you’re currently using. Our flat fee is $679.

After that, we apply for a trademark! We help prepare, file, and track your application with the USPTO. Our flat fee starts at $1,100, plus USPTO fees.

A trademark is an investment in the future of your business. Even with these upcoming cost increases, it’s often worth it.

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