Plan on $1,500 to $3,000.
“Copyright” is actually a series of rights that the author of an original creative work. Rather than bore you with a book-length post about copyright, I’ll give you the greatest hits:
• Copyright protect creative works like artwork (including your logo), photographs, music composition, sound recordings, software code, and even dance choreography
• Copyright DOESN’T protect ideas, processes, facts, and other intangible things.
• This separation between ideas and the expression of their ideas is a huge deal in copyright. The idea for the story is not protected, but how you specifically expressed those ideas in writing is protected by copyright law.
• Some of the exclusive rights you get under copyright include the right to make copies, to create “derivative works” (think sequels and spinoffs), to publicly perform or display, and to do things like translations and adaptations to other media
What Does Trademarking a Name Cost?
Filing a trademark for your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will cost between $225 and $600, plus legal fees. You can register with most states for $50-$150 if you don’t want protection outside your state.
Trademark protection covers the designs, symbols, words or phrases that identify your business as a source of products or services and sets them apart from competitors’ offerings. Business names, logos, and product labels can all be trademarked. If your company sells services instead of goods you would technically use the term “service mark” instead of trademark, but most people use the word “trademark” when talking about services as well as goods.
Federal Trademark Information
Note: Each application covers one class of business, so if your business sells different types of goods and services (like movies and posters) you might need to pay the following fees more than once.
E-file fees: If you file your federal trademark online at the USPTO website, you can use the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). A regular TEAS has a $400 fee, but if you can use the TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) form the fee is only $275. If your application is very simple you might be able to use the TEAS plus form for just $225.
Paper filing fees: Filing a paper form with the USPTO is more expensive at $600.
Legal fees: Lawyers will typically charge $500-$2000 to conduct a business name search and file your trademark for you.
State Trademark Information
Most businesses choose federal protection, but if your business is much localized you might be content with only a state-level trademark.
Corporations and LLCs: When you form your business entity with the state, business name registration is included. Fees to form a corporation or LLC vary by state but are usually less than $150.
Sole proprietors and partnerships: If you register a “fictitious name” form with the state, county, or city, your business name is registered at the same time. Costs vary by region, but $50–$150 is typical. If you use your legal name as your business name, you won’t be required to register your name and will need to apply to your Secretary of State if you want a trademark at the state level.
Why Is Trademarking a Name Important?
Federal registration protects you in all 50 states, plus offers additional benefits:
• “Prima facie” proof of ownership (courts accept your ownership without further proof)
• A listing in the USPTO’s online records
• The right to use the ® symbol with your business name
• Public notice of the trademark, so an infringer can’t claim they didn’t know about your trademark even if you don’t use the ® symbol
• The right to file a lawsuit in Federal Court if someone else uses your business name
• The right to recover cash damages and attorney’s fees in Federal Court if you’ve used the symbol “®” on your business name and someone still uses it
• The right to record the trademark with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to block counterfeit products at the border
• The right to register your business name in foreign countries
Important Data on Name Trademarking Costs
• 50–80 percent: The number of filings rejected on their first try, usually because the forms aren’t completed properly or the filer didn’t do a full search to see if anyone else was using their name.
• $400–$500: What some discount legal sites charge for trademark services? This fee covers helping you with your application only. It doesn’t include any support if your application is rejected and may not include a search.
• $1000–$2000: Typical legal fees charged by an experienced trademark attorney.
• Six months to three years: The average amount of time it actually takes to fully complete a trademark filing.
Other Costs of Trademarking a Name
If you haven’t started doing business under the name you want to trademark, the filing will involve some extra steps and cost. About 12 weeks after you apply, the USPTO will send you a notice. You then have six months to either file a Statement of Use (with a $100 fee) accompanied by proof that you’ve started using the business name, or if you haven’t started transacting business yet you can request a six-month extension. If you use an attorney, you’ll also need to pay legal fees to prepare the statement and proof that you are using the name. The legal fees range between $250 and $700.
• Choosing an attorney who doesn’t have specific trademark experience
• Not doing enough research to make sure your business name isn’t similar to someone else’s
• Not choosing the correct class of business to file under
• Not applying for more than one class if you have different business activities
• Trademarking your logo but not your business name
• Trying to register a business name the USPTO considers too generic, like “fine dining” or “Used Cars”
• Trademarking your URL with the suffix; if your website is sparklewidgets.com, you should usually register Sparkle Widgets or Sparkle widgets as your business name so you can protect yourself more broadly
• Foreign businesses that want to trademark their names in the United States have three choices: a foreign application, a foreign registration, or a Madrid Protocol application.
• U.S. businesses that do business overseas can register their names with the government in each country where they plan to have a presence.
• You can record your trademarked name with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to stop counterfeit goods bearing your name at the border.
Reasons You Might Not Trademark Your Business Name
Your business name is protected the moment you start using it, even without being registered, as long as it doesn’t already belong to someone else. Common law trademark protects you locally from another business using your name. If you’ve registered your business entity or fictitious (DBA) name with the state, you already have some federal protection, too.
Reasons to Trademark Your Business name
A federal trademark lets you register your business name in all 50 states and in other countries. If your name is trademarked federally, you can sue in federal court to protect your branding. Lawsuits might let you collect cash awards or even press criminal charges against anyone who tries to use your business name. You’ll also be making sure that you’re not violating someone else’s trademark by using a similar name.
Does It Cost Money to Copyright a Band Name?
You can copyright a band name. This notion arises from laymen using the terms “copyright” and “trademark” interchangeably when they are really distinct legal terms. In any case, protecting intellectual property, such as a band name, might cost only a few hundred dollars for the application, but thousands more in legal fees.
You cannot copyright a band name because copyrights only apply to original works, such as creating a song, rather than ideas or facts. Instead, you would trademark a band name as a way to distinguish your band from another one. You can copyright something related to your band’s name, such as a logo, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. As of the time of publication, the basic online registration fee for a copyright is $25.
Cost of Registered Trademark
As of the time of publication, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office charges $325 to register a trademark online using the Trademark Electronic Application System; Paper applications cost $375, according to the U.S. PTO website. A band name will be registered as a “service mark” — commonly used to differentiate brands in the entertainment industry — but it holds the same legal weight as trademark.
It is highly suggested that you research your band name before attempting to trademark it in case another band uses and has registered the name. The typical fee for an attorney to file a trademark application is between $300 and $500, as of the time of publication. However, you might incur hundreds of dollars in additional legal fees for an attorney to research your band name or if the patent office requires additional information or sends other communications the lawyer needs to handle.
Use the U.S. PTO electronic trademark search system for free to check if you someone has registered the same or similar trademark. You can save money and time by only registering a trademark with the state. Technically, just using a band name usually creates a common law trademark, but offers far fewer protections than registering the name at the state or federal level. However, because of widespread use of the Internet, common law and state trademarks usually are less preferential than a federal trademark or copyright. As always, you should speak to an attorney because a few hundred dollars to secure your rights now can save headaches down the road if you become hugely popular. Why should you register your copyrights?
So here’s the deal:
Once you create something that’s eligible for copyright protection, it’s automatically protected by copyright law. That’s a good thing.
The 2 requirements are:
1. That it’s an original creative work (the bar for this is very low)
2. That it is “fixed” in a “tangible medium” – this means, essentially, that it’s on paper or saved as a digital file, a video, or an audio recording. Things that are just existing inside your brain don’t count.
Now, you’ve got copyright rights – what can you do with it?
Not much, actually.
That’s because suing someone requires that you’ve registered your copyright with the federal government. This registration has a few important benefits:
• It puts the public on notice that you’re claiming rights over that particular thing
• It serves as evidence that your copyright rights are valid (if you register within 5 years of publication)
• It allows you to take advantage of something called “statutory damages” if you register within 90 days of publication. This means that you don’t have to prove how much you’ve been damages when filing a lawsuit, which can come in handy in many cases. It also allows you to seek payment for your attorney’s fees and costs from the infringer.
The filing fee for a copyright registration varies. It’s a lot cheaper than filing a trademark application, at the very least.
Here are the details:
1. For most applications, the fee is $55 to register a copyright
2. In cases where there is only one author who is the one who actually created the work, the fee is only $35
That lower fee most likely applies to a logo made for a sole proprietorship business. But if you’ve created the logo on behalf of an LLC you own or work for, the higher fee is going to be applicable.
Can’t you just do it yourself? Yes, you can do it yourself, but the process can be a bit confusing. There’s a good amount of jargon and choices you need to make.
Starting with the type of application you’re filing in the first place. If you choose the wrong one, that could invalidate the whole application.
The process has a number of other potential wrinkles, as well.
It usually comes down to a balance – you need to weigh how much time it would take for you to understand everything and learn the process, versus just paying someone to take care of it for you.
Copyright Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help to get a copyright, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
itemprop=”addressLocality”>West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506