Updated: Sep 9
When you are starting a business, there are many things to consider – one of which is protecting your brand. A trademark is one of the best ways to do this, and if you plan on expanding internationally, you will need an international trademark. The cost of filing for an international trademark typically ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the country or region where you file. There is also a yearly maintenance fee of around $500.
In this article, we will explore further the costs in obtaining an international trademark and how to go about doing so.
A. The Basics of Trademarks
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design that distinguishes the source of goods or services from those of others. In order to be registered as a trademark, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires that the mark be used in commerce. The USPTO registers trademarks for a period of 10 years and can renew the registration for additional 10-year terms.
There are three main types of trademarks: (1) word marks, (2) design marks and (3) composite marks. A word mark consists of a words or group of words that identify the source of goods or services. A design mark consists of a unique graphic design that identifies the source of goods or services. A composite mark is a combination of a word mark and a design mark.
A trademark can be lost through abandonment, improper use or if it becomes generic. Abandonment occurs when the owner stops using the trademark in commerce or allows it to become so diluted that it no longer functions as a trademark. Improper use occurs when the trademark is used in such a way that it confuses consumers about the source of goods or services. If the public begins using a trademark to refer to all goods or services in a particular category, then the trademark becomes generic and can no longer be protected.
B. The Process of Obtaining an International Trademark
Obtaining an international trademark can be a long and complicated process. The first step is to conduct a trademark search to make sure the desired mark is available for use. If the mark is not available, the applicant may be able to file for trademark protection through a separate application process.
Once the trademark is available, the next step is to file an application with the respective country's trademark office. The application must include detailed information about the mark, including its specific classification. Once the application is filed, it will be reviewed by an examiner who will determine whether it meets all of the requirements for protection.
If the application is approved, the mark will be registered in that country and protected under that country's laws. The process of obtaining an international trademark can take several months or even years, so it is important to start early and be patient.
C. The Cost of an International Trademark
An international trademark offers protection in up to 104 countries, and it is valid for 10 years. The cost of filing for an international trademark typically ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the country or region where you file. There is also a yearly maintenance fee of around $500.
Overall, the cost of an international trademark can be significant, but it can be worth it for companies that want to protect their trademarks in multiple countries.
D. Tips for Saving on the Cost of an International
There are a few ways to save on the cost of an international trademark. One way is to file a trademark application yourself. However, this can be difficult and time-consuming, so it's often best to hire a trademark attorney. Another way to save on the cost of an international trademark is to file a Madrid Protocol application.
The Madrid Protocol Application for international trademark registration is an application that can be used to register a trademark in multiple countries. This application is available through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and it allows businesses to file a single application in order to protect their trademark in up to 90 different countries. The cost of this application varies depending on the number of countries that are being registered in, but it typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000. This is a less expensive option than filing a trademark application in each country where you want protection. Finally, you can also save on the cost of an international trademark by filing a joint application with another company.
E. Conclusion – Is an International Trademark Worth the Cost?
The cost of an international trademark can be significant, but it may be worth the investment if your business plans to expand overseas. An international trademark can help you protect your brand and avoid legal disputes in other countries. It can also make it easier to do business in other countries by providing a clear way to identify your products and services. If you are considering an international trademark, be sure to consult with a lawyer to learn more about the costs and benefits of registration.
FAQs about the cost of international trademarks:
1. How much does it cost to file for an international trademark?
The cost of filing for an international trademark varies depending on the country or region where you file. Typically, the filing fee ranges from $200 to $600.
2. What is included in the filing fee?
The filing fee typically includes the costs associated with registering your trademark in that country or region, such as administrative fees and translation costs.
3. Are there any other expenses I should expect?
Yes. You may also need to pay for legal representation during the application process, as well as for any subsequent enforcement actions if your trademark is infringed upon.
4. How long does the registration process take?
The registration process generally takes between 6 and 12 months, although it can vary depending on the country or region where you file.
G. Resources for Further Reading/Research on Trademarks and International Businesses
There are a number of resources available to help businesses understand trademarks and international business. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website is a great place to start for information on trademarks. The website offers a number of resources, including an overview of trademarks, how to apply for a trademark, and what to do if someone uses your trademark without permission.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) also offers a variety of resources on trademarks and international business. Their website includes articles, whitepapers, and case studies on a variety of topics related to trademarks and international business.
Finally, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offers information and resources on trademarks and other intellectual property issues. Their website includes an overview of intellectual property law, as well as articles and case studies on specific topics
H. Author’s Note/Contact Information
Spiller Law is a San Francisco business and entertainment law firm and offers Trademark services to its clients. Feel free to arrange a free consultation by resorting to the Schedule Appointment link on our website. For other questions, feel free to call our offices at 415-991-7298.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers are advised to consult with their own legal counsel for specific advice.