First of all, it’s not about how much you need to pay to get your trademark registered. It’s about how much your trademark costs if you decide to sell it and how to determine its selling price.
We all heard cases of how someone sold a good-sounding trademark for millions of dollars but is this for real or that’s just a fantasy? Let’s check this myth.
Each trademark is a property (intellectual, but nonetheless). Let’s compare it to an office building as it’s a business asset as well as your trademark. An office building can be situated in a nice location and generate profits every month in the form of rent payments. At the same time, there can be exactly the same office building somewhere in a city without any economic activity and thus generate no profits and only require maintenance costs.
The same applies to your trademark. Its value is determined by its ability to generate profits now or in the future.
If a trademark generates economic benefits right now, then it’s rather easy to calculate its selling price.
If a trademark can generate economic benefits in the future, then the selling price is less objective as the ability of the mark to generate profits is yet to be proven.
If your trademark generates profits and you can identify that those profits are acquired thanks to the trademark.
In this case, you take all the money that the trademark is expected to generate and adjust to its present-day value.
That’s a straightforward way to calculate the price of your mark.
You just check what’s the regular sale price of a similar trademark in a similar country.
It’s simple and can be used by anyone to determine approximate values.
How much would it cost to get the same trademark in the same country?
Usually, this method is used for trademarks in cases when they do not generate any economic benefits and when a similar trademark can be easily registered.
This method does not take into the account any unique features of your trademark.
We will not explain the income method as it depends on the country where you sell your trademark. The most basic example is that your mark is likely to generate US$100.000 in 5 years, so you discount the amount to the current date (how much would you pay NOW for US$100.000 generated in 5 years) and get the selling price.
According to our experience, trademarks which have no prior fame and generate no profits are priced up to US$2000-4000 depending on the country of registration. The faster the registration process in the country, the lower is the price.
Trademarks in the US are typically sold for around US$3000, trademarks in the UK cost US$1000-1500, an EU mark might cost around US$4000. Once again, for the marks with no fame and which bring no income.
In such a case, your buyer avoids spending 5-10 months waiting until the trademark is registered.
It might be the case that you come up with a trademark, register it and then a huge multi-billion business just comes out of the blue with a million-dollar offer. They just loved your trademark and want to buy but. But guess what? The probability of such an outcome is very similar to the probability of winning a jackpot in Euromillions. Big companies have their own ways to make you withdraw your trademark and then file for the same one. It will cost them less than US$10.000 and it is far more cost-effective than buying the mark for 1 million dollars.
Our client came up with a great trademark name which was suggestive, even slightly descriptive (you can check what it means in this link), and applied for the mark in the USA. A representative of a huge snack-producing company approached the client and asked to provide this company with free unlimited permission to use the mark. When the client refused they filed an opposition case claiming that the mark was descriptive. The issue is that even if you are right, defending the trademark in the US would be very expensive, up to US$30.000, and our client, a small European producer, was not able to stand against the multinational conglomerate. They were forced to abandon the mark allowing the conglomerate to apply for the mark in its name.
How much is it to register a similar trademark?
We do not discuss here filing a confusingly similar trademark. We mean in the same country for the same products, but different in sound and visually.
You can check the prices in this link https://bonamark.com/countries
Just don’t forget that time is money and not waiting 12 months to get your mark registered is worth something.
We have received around 100+ real requests to sell or to find a trademark for purchase. What was the price range?
Sellers’ expectations were from US$1500 to US$500.000. The median price was around US$5000.
Buyers expected to pay from US$1000 to US$10000.
The difficult part was to find the trademark in the required country in the required class for the required products/services and even if such a trademark was found, the buyer could just decide that it was not “French-sounding enough”.
Obviously, the companies willing to pay around US$1000-2000 had lower expectations and fewer requirements for the trademarks they wanted to buy.
The common requirements were:
When we find a buyer for a trademark we need to organize the process of transferring the trademark to the new owner.
The price for assigning the trademark depends on the country and is from US$150 to US$1500. Transferring a trademark cost around US$150-250 in the UK, EU, and the USA and higher in Arab countries.
The list of documents usually includes the Deed of Assignment and 2 Power of Attorneys (one for the buyer and one for the seller). The documents must be prepared and certified in accordance with the laws of the country where the assignment will take place.
The time frame is from 2 weeks to 2 years depending on the country. In the UK, EU, and the US it takes around a month.
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