Like other forms of intellectual property, trademark rights are generally regarded as separate in each country or other governmental entity’s territory (hence “jurisdiction“) in which they are registered.
Each country should recognize and protect trademark rights in a way that helps that country reach its policy goals. However, trademark rights are different in each country and don’t depend on each other, even though “international trademark rights” refers to a set of trademark rights that cover several countries.
What Is An International Trademark Registration?
Legally, a trademark owner can secure protection for their brand or emblem in numerous countries by registering the mark internationally. The Madrid Protocol is an international agreement that makes this process easier by letting trademark owners register their mark in all member countries with just one application.
After registration, the trademark has the same level of protection in those jurisdictions as if it had been registered in each one separately.
Keep in mind that not all countries participate in the Madrid Protocol; if you wish to register your trademark in a country that is not a member of the Madrid Protocol, you will need to submit a separate application to that country’s trademark office.
How Do I Register For An International Trademark?
The following are the necessary actions to get an international trademark:
- Conduct a trademark search: Before you file for international registration, you should do a trademark search to make sure that the mark is not already in use or registered to someone else in the countries in question.
- File a national application or registration: Before applying for an overseas registration, a person must have a trademark registration or application in effect in his or her home country.
- File an international application with WIPO: The mark, a description of the goods and services, and a list of the member countries where protection is sought must all be included in the international application.
- The application is reviewed by WIPO: The application will be reviewed by WIPO to make sure it is complete and that the mark may be registered.
- Identify the safe countries: After international registration is granted, the owner can choose which member countries to protect the trademark in.
- National offices examine the mark: The national offices in those nations will check the mark’s legality under their own rules.
- Obtain national registration: A certificate of registration for each country in which the mark has been registered will be sent to the trademark holder.
Keep in mind that registering your trademark can take months if not years and that you should consult with a trademark attorney or agency if you have any questions or intend to pursue an international registration.
International Trademark Benefits
There are many advantages to registering a trademark internationally, including those listed below:
- Recognition of the brand grows: International trademark registration can help your brand become more well-known in more markets. To better compete in the international market, businesses often seek to register their trademarks in several different jurisdictions.
To this end, there are a few possible approaches:
- Consistency: Having the same trademark on a brand or logo in several countries allows a business to offer a unified front to current and potential clients. Customers are more likely to feel confident and loyal to a brand that displays uniformity across all touchpoints.
- Advertising: When a business has its trademark registered in more than one country, they have a powerful weapon for expanding its brand internationally. With more people exposed to your brand, you have a better chance of generating sales.
- Digital Identity: By registering their trademarks internationally, businesses may ensure that their online presence (including domain name, social media handles, and other assets) remains consistent and secure across all nations.
- Legal Shield from Copycats: Protecting the brand’s name and goodwill by preventing others from using a mark that is confusingly similar to the registered one in the countries where it has been filed for protection is one of the main benefits of obtaining an international registration.
- Reputation: A company’s prominence and credibility in the market might rise when it gains international recognition through registration.
- Trust: Customers’ perceptions of a company’s stability, longevity, and trustworthiness might be bolstered by evidence of its international registration.
- Marketing’s Worth: Companies that want to sell or lease their brand in the future may benefit from having their trademarks registered in many countries.
All things considered, registering a trademark internationally can boost a company’s name recognition and goodwill in the marketplace, which in turn can boost sales and profits.
- Exclusive rights: Having your trademark registered internationally gives you the legal right to use it exclusively in the countries you choose, barring any competition from using the same or a similar mark in those markets.
- Legal protection: In the event of trademark infringement or dilution in the targeted countries, having an international registration can give legal protection.
- The advantage in the Market: The ability to secure trademark protection for a brand or logo in more than one country might offer a company a leg up on the competition.
- Assistance with Permitting: Trademark licensing to other businesses in the chosen countries is simplified with an international registration.
- Investment Opportunity Enhancement: International trademark registration shows that a company is committed to protecting its brand and expanding its reach around the world, which is appealing to investors and business partners.
- Facilitation of E-commerce: Having an international registration can help companies extend their e-commerce operations, as it lets them effortlessly protect their brand in numerous countries where they sell items or services online.
It is also important to know that the owner of a trademark that is registered in more than one country must follow the rules for renewal and use that are set by each country.
The owner of a trademark that is registered in more than one country must also be ready to defend the registration if it is challenged or taken away in any of the countries listed.
Can Anyone Submit An International Registration?
With the help of the Madrid Protocol, a single “international application” for trademark protection can be filed and then used to register the mark in any of the treaty’s member countries. More than 80 countries, including the United States, are participants in the Madrid Protocol.
To file for international registration under the Madrid Protocol, a person must meet the following requirements:
- National registration or application: Before filing an international registration, a person must have a registered trademark or an application for a trademark in his or her home country. The “basic registration” or “basic application” lays the groundwork for worldwide registration.
- Whether by birth or residence: To apply for a Madrid Protocol trademark, you must be a national or resident of one of the Madrid Protocol member countries.
- Place of business: There must be a functional and legitimate place of business or industry in the country of origin that the applicant can point to.
- Service providers: If the applicant is a service provider, it must have a functional manufacturing or commercial presence in the home country.
- Using a Trademark: The applicant must already be using the trademark or have real plans to use it soon.
- List of goods and services: When a person applies for a trademark, he or she must say how the mark will be used. The list should be confined to the goods and services for which the mark is or will be used, and it should follow the Nice Classification.
Some nations choose not to participate in the Madrid Protocol, therefore, if you want your trademark registered in a nation that isn’t a part of it, you’ll have to submit a separate application to that nation’s trademark office.
If you don’t understand the process or want to register your trademark overseas, you should talk to a trademark attorney or agent.
When it comes to protecting a brand or logo in numerous countries, an international trademark registration through the Madrid Protocol is a quick, cheap, and easy option. The owner of a trademark can get legal protection for their brand in all participating countries with just one application.
An international registration is subject to the rules and regulations of each specified country; however, not all nations are members of the Madrid Protocol.
To have a trademark online registration, go to trademark search international, It is also a good idea to consult with a trademark attorney or agency.