How much does it cost to file a foreign trademark application?
Foreign trademark costs vary widely. The biggest cost factors will be the countries in which you seek registration and the filing route you take. Generally, expect the initial filing cost to be roughly $2,000 to $4,000 per country. In Europe, you can file a single application covering the EU member countries which would exclude the UK due to Brexit.
What ongoing foreign trademark costs may occur after the initial filing?
Each foreign trademark application will be examined by the pertinent local IP office of each foreign country or region. Therefore, a foreign trademark application may encounter the risk of a rejection due to prior filings for similar marks in that country or region. If and when such a rejection occurs, you will incur additional foreign trademark costs if you choose to respond to the rejection during this examination phase. The amount of the foreign trademark cost after initial filing may vary from $1,000 to $3,000 depending upon the complexity of the refusal and the amount of work required to overcome the rejection.
How can you reduce foreign trademark costs?
If your foreign application is timely filed within 6 months of your US trademark application, the foreign application may benefit from the earlier US filing date by including a priority claim to your earlier US filing. A priority claim may help limit ongoing foreign trademark costs by reducing the risk of rejection. When your foreign application gets an earlier priority date, you can potentially beat any foreign applicants seeking to register your mark in foreign territories after having seen it in the US or abroad.
When it comes to trademark registration, earlier filing dates will generally give applicants an advantage. This true of the US and foreign countries. Later filing dates may result in greater costs arising from responding to refusals and possibly opposing or canceling foreign trademark registrations.
Which foreign countries should you choose?
If your products are goods as opposed to services, consider foreign countries where your goods will be manufactured or sold. Even if you do not plan to sell goods in the country where they are made, you may want to register your mark in the manufacturing country so that you will not encounter obstacles in exporting the goods.