Ever since I filed my first trademark application for a client more than 12 years ago in 1999, I have charged a flat fee for every one of the several thousand trademark applications I have handled. I believe that all inclusive flat fees best represent the value provided by my services, and also provide an enormous benefit to the client – especially the small business – who cannot budget properly for the many possibilities that a trademark application entails if the total fee is not set at the start.
Many other trademark attorneys advertise ‘flat fees.’ But how many can truly tell you the entire cost of the application from filing to completion, including office actions, allegations of use, phone calls, and more? I know of one – me. There may be others. But the large majority of “flat fee” deals I have seen are deceptive – there is a flat fee for the initial filing but the total cost of the entire application may be much more depending on what happens to the application.
Here is an example of why I believe my truly flat fee best serves the client – even if it is higher than the “initial flat fee” for filing charged by others:
A potential client contacted me. They had already spoken to another attorney who offered to file a one class application for $X plus the USPTO fees. The lawyer’s fee included responses to non-substantive objections to registration by the USPTO. But in the event that the Trademark Examiner makes a substantive objection to registration (likelihood of confusion, merely descriptive, etc.), the fee was not only not included in the $X, it was not even listed or estimated. It represented a total unknown.
And so I responded to the potential client, verbatim:
The devil is in the details :) His flat fee covers “responses to non-substantive objections”.
As you can imagine… substantive responses, when necessary, are the more complicated and time consuming ones. My flat fee includes them.
Of course, I also believe my experience regarding the USPTO is far greater. He has registered about 10 trademarks. I have registered about 1,700.
Needless to say, I am glad to call the “potential client” in this situation a new client.