WHY CONSIDER INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK?
As companies expand into the international arena, a whole new set of rules apply to protecting your business brand. Building your reputation for quality, and service are only half of the value of your brand – your brand recognition should be protected as a company asset by filing for trademark registration to maintain the rights in your brand name. Do not make the mistake of leave your brand unprotected in the global marketplace.
Companies who should invest in an international registration include those seeking to expand now or in the future, those with current business operations in other countries (manufacturing, distributing, offices, etc), and those with significant revenue generation from other countries.
WHEN SHOULD AN INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK FILING BE CONSIDERED?
In the global market, trademarks are only protected if they are registered in that particular country. Filing for trademark registration in the US does not automatically extend protection of your mark to other countries, which means that if you discover a business using your company name, logo, tagline, or packaging in another country, your company has no legal basis to pursue infringement proceedings in that country. Using a centralized system, such as the Madrid Protocol, allows trademark owners to register one application while applying to multiple member countries at once. Although not all countries are members to the Madrid Treaty, a 120+ country membership certainly makes the Madrid registration a worthy consideration.
One of the key benefits of filing an international trademark include claiming rights in the mark immediately upon registration. The Madrid system operates on a first-to-file system, rather than a first-to-use systems as exists in the US. Once obtaining an international trademark registration, the mark is registered for 10 years, and should be renewed in a timely manner to maintain rights in the mark. Registration of the mark can be expanded to additional countries, if the owner wishes to increase the market regions.
Please reach out if you are considering the registration of your trademark in the international arena – we can help you through this process!