The cost to hire a trademark attorney ranges somewhere in between $500 and $2,000. However, these numbers can fluctuate depending on different factors, such as location, the type of services that the attorney is providing, and the way in which a law firm or trademark lawyer bills their clients. The rates provided in this section also do not account for the standard United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) fees that you may be charged when filing an application to register a trademark.
In general, the average cost of a trademark attorney tends to start at $200 per hour and can increase to $400 per hour or more. In some cases, such as those involving simple trademark registration, a trademark attorney may opt to charge a flat rate fee and/or a retainer fee. Of course, these types of fees will vary by each individual law firm or trademark attorney.
Therefore, if you need help with a trademark matter, you should contact several trademark attorneys to determine the average local rate to hire a trademark attorney in your area. If you do not have time to do so, then it is important that you ask about what is included in the total trademark lawyer cost as well as how that lawyer intends to bill you for their services.
What are Some Factors Used When Determining Trademark Lawyer Fees?
In general, trademark lawyer fees depend on a number of the same factors that one would use to calculate attorney fees for a lawyer across many different fields of law. Some of these factors may potentially include the following:
- The fee structure that a particular trademark lawyer uses (e.g., do they bill their clients by the hour or charge a one-time, flat fee rate?).
- The type of services the trademark lawyer is being hired to perform. For example, hiring a trademark lawyer to provide legal representation in a lawsuit for trademark infringement will typically cost more than hiring one to complete and file an application for trademark registration with the USPTO.
- The time it takes to finish the work the client is asking the trademark attorney to do. A prospective client should also consider whether they will need a trademark lawyer to periodically check that no other businesses are using the trademark and if they will need help with complying with trademark maintenance costs after the trademark is officially registered. If so, then this could increase costs.
- The skillset, reputation, and/or experience that a trademark lawyer has can also affect the amount of fees that a client will need to pay. Generally, the more experience that a lawyer has, the higher their rates will usually be.
- Whether the client intends to hire the lawyer to handle more than just their trademark registrations (e.g., to register for copyrights, patents, etc.).
Also, it should be noted that the above fees do not include the costs of filing a trademark registration application or any other fees imposed by the USPTO. Thus, it is best that a business owner sets-up a consultation meeting with a prospective trademark lawyer where they can ask questions, such as what services are included in the overall trademark lawyer cost and which services may be charged separately.
What Services Do Trademark Lawyers Typically Provide?
Trademark lawyers typically provide specific legal services since this particular area of law is so specialized. Some common examples of the types of services that trademark lawyers usually provide include:
- Performing research and due diligence on logos, symbols, words, and so on that a business owner is interested in having registered as a trademark;
- Providing legal representation in court or at settlement conferences associated with trademark issues and disputes (note that most trademark cases are settled out of court);
- Determining which parts of a business can be registered for a trademark and helping a client complete and file the application forms for those trademarks;
- Assisting with selling or acquiring another business’s trademark rights along with the business being sold or purchased;
- Drafting contracts to license trademark rights to third parties (e.g., franchisees, distributors, etc.); and/or
- Fixing mistakes or errors on an owner’s trademark application, which may have resulted in the contents of their application being denied trademark registration.
Are There Any Advantages to Hiring a Trademark Attorney?
Similar to patents, the process to register a trademark can be very difficult without the help of a trademark attorney. Unlike the average cost of patent lawyer, however, the good news is that the average cost of trademark attorney is typically less than the rate for a patent lawyer. Thus, a business owner may want to consider hiring a trademark attorney because they can provide many beneficial services.
Aside from being able to assist with the legal paperwork for the trademark registration process, trademark attorneys can also be a valuable source of information. For instance, one advantage to hiring a trademark attorney is that they can offer advice on other parts of a business that could potentially be registered for a trademark and which the owner may not have known was even possible.
Trademark attorneys can also save a business owner time and money by informing them when it may not be possible to register something as a trademark or when it may be better to register the item as a different form of intellectual property instead.
Another advantage, which is arguably one of the most important reasons to hire a trademark attorney, is that trademark attorneys can perform due diligence on a trademark for a client. It is absolutely necessary to perform due diligence before submitting a trademark application or else the USPTO may simply reject it because a similar or the same trademark already exists.
One final advantage to hiring a trademark attorney is that they can provide legal representation in court or at a settlement conference in the event that an entity’s trademark rights have been infringed upon or diluted. It is crucial that business owners resolve these types of trademark issues as soon as possible since both could have a negative impact on the profits as well as the reputation of a business.
Should I Hire a Trademark Attorney?
If you need help with registering a trademark for your business or if you want to file a lawsuit against another party for infringing on an existing trademark, you should speak to a local trademark lawyer immediately for further legal advice.
A lawyer who has experience in handling trademark issues will be able to assist you in completing the registration forms and making sure that the trademark you want to register is not already assigned to a different business. Your lawyer can also assist you in filing a lawsuit against a business that is infringing on or diluting your trademark rights.
In addition, your lawyer may be able to help you in registering and/or taking legal action against a company for other forms of intellectual property as well. Oftentimes, lawyers who resolve trademark issues also specialize in other areas of intellectual property law, such as copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and so on.
Finally, depending upon your business needs and budget, it may be worth the cost of keeping a trademark lawyer or intellectual property attorney on retainer. This way you will always have someone with legal expertise looking out for your business and periodically checking that your intellectual property rights remain protected. Trademark lawyers can be hired to perform due diligence or ongoing research to ensure no other parties are diluting or infringing on your legal rights.