Trademark: ™ vs ®

Common Law Rights vs. Federal Registration Right


  • ™ Rights Arise from Actual Use – Not Filing
  • ™ Rights Only Extend To The Areas Where The Mark Is Used
  • No Presumptions


  • ® Rights Arise From Obtaining Registration with the USPTO
  • ® Rights Extend To U.S. &  Territories, Regardless of Actual Geographic Use
  • ® = Presumption of Exclusive Rights to the Trademark, Automatic Evidence of Validity

File Trademark Application With USPTO

Trademark Law

To obtain a federal trademark, an applicant must file an application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  It is not necessary to hire an attorney.  In fact, the USPTO has extensive free information and video tutorials on how to file a trademark application, how to conduct trademark searching and other useful information (last visited August 15, 2017).

USPTO Trademark Filing Fee

The USPTO trademark application filing fee can range from $225.00 to $375.00 for each designated class of goods and/or services.  Therefore, when seeking registration in multiple classes there will be additionally filing fees.  Further filing fees may be necessary depending on the type of evidence needed to support the application.  If you face a USPTO Examiner’s refusal to register, you will likely need an attorney to help overcome the reasons for refusal. 

USPTO Trademark Maintenance Fee

Once federal registration is obtained, the USPTO requires additional filing fees on certain anniversary dates.  For example, six years after registration the USTPO requires trademark owners to file an affidavit attesting to the use of the mark in each registered class ($100.00 to $200.00 per class).  The USPTO also requires that the trademark be renewed in each registered class once every ten years ($300.00 to $400.00 per class).

While an attorney is not necessary for the filing, consulting with an attorney experienced in the business of intellectual property at the branding development stages of your business can help maximize the value of your business at the outset and help avoid costly mistakes to your business and reputation.  An experienced intellectual property attorney should be consulted before structuring ownership, before printing a business card, before filing a d/b/a (“DBA”), before incorporating and even before registering an Internet domain.  Contact Fox Law To Add Value To Your Business From The Outset.


Matthew Fox