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How to Register a Trademark on the International Level

The importance of trademarks and intellectual property can not be underestimated. New brands and trademarks appear daily, and owners must take care of their property immediately. One of the most efficient ways to protect your brand from intellectual crimes is to register trademark internationally. In this article, we will look closely at several ways to legalise the trademark and protect it from legal infringement, fraud, and intellectual crimes.
trademark registration

Why to Register a Trademark Globally

In this section, we have collected the main advantages of registering the trademark globally. ⦁ Infringement prevention. Registered trademarks receive a famous copyright mark ®, which means that all rights for the mentioned product are reserved and cannot be used in any form without authorisation in any country that trademark registration covers. ⦁ Confirmation of rights. By registering your trademark globally, you ensure the legality of your rights to use your brand in every country it’s registered in. If any infringement occurs, you can confidently initiate legal actions and be sure it will normally end in your favour. ⦁ Brand recognition. Another undeniable advantage of registering a trademark globally is brand recognition. Consolidation of your rights on the newly created brand will help you gain attention from the new clients and confirm your position with the existing audience. ⦁ Decreasing expenses. By investing your funds and time into brand registering, you protect your company from any future expenses on lawsuits and expensive legal counselors. Do not underestimate this because nothing will drain your company like endless judicial red tape.  

How to Register Trademark Internationally

Businesses aiming to register a trademark in a global market have the two most obvious ways: register through international treaties or register in each of the target countries. Let’s discover the pros and cons of each option.

Through International Trademark Treaties

In this section, we will look at the pros and cons of going through international trademark treaties. So what hides behind your international registration?

Advantages

Let’s start with the advantages that follow your decision to go through trademark registration via international treaties. ⦁ The huge number of countries. The main reason to start international registration is the presence of the world-leading countries as a member of those treaties. For instance, Great Britain and the United States are constant members of such treaties; ⦁ Less expenses. Filling out an application to receive international registration in countries of the European Union will cost less than looking for local registration in each EU member state; ⦁ Transparent process.All treaties are handled by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), which significantly reduces the number of unnecessary bureaucratic red tape.

Disadvantages

As well as undeniable advantages this decision may cause a lot of difficulties during your way of trademark registration. ⦁ Strict requirements. All international treaties, without any exception, are followed by strict numbers of rules and requirements that are mandatory for the companies that want to become part of those treaties. For instance, the Madrid Protocol has very specific requisitions for the trademark that exclude the use of three-dimensional or non-traditional trademarks that can be difficult to protect; ⦁ Risk of central attacks. Unlike any system, international treaties are not irreproachable, and the loopholes in the law system can be easily used against your company. For instance, many third parties can use the fact that the protection of the international protocol is annulated in case the attacked company is cancelled within the five-period due to any opposition or cancellation actions against the attacked company. ⦁ Lengthy registration process. Registration through international treaties has no set timeframes and may even extend to a few years. When considering the possibility of registering your trademark the best decision will be to hire an experienced legal counselor that will examine your business and provide the necessary pieces of advice in your particular situation. Like any decision registering an international trademark hides both pros and cons, so it’s necessary to weigh them all before taking any actions.
register trademark internationally

Madrid Protocol

The Madrid Protocol was signed at the end of the nineteenth century and gathered together 130 countries by the end of 2023. The Protocol includes many leading countries, that are part of the G7 club and many other states that decided to sign the protocol and therefore become the member of alliance.  For instance, the protocol gathered together world economic leaders such as the United States, Germany, Italy, and many others. An undeniable advantage of the Madrid system is that if you are filling out the documentation from your current location, there will be no need to separately fill out the forms for each country listed as a member.

Trademark Law Treaty

The main cause that was named during the signing of TLT in 1994 is the necessity to reduce any difficulties during the trademark registration procedures for companies around the world. The treaty consists of three legal acts that include registration, implementation of necessary legal changes, and renewal. Currently over fifty different countries are members of this agreement. Their number includes countries of the European Union, such as Austria, Belgium, Italy, and many others.

Through Registration in Each Country

Alternative to registering a trademark in several countries under international treaties, you can file trademark registration applications in each country separately. Let’s take a closer look at the key pros and cons of this method.

Pros:

Simplicity. First of all, it is worth mentioning the advanced simplicity of the national registration, which is carried out by your local intellectual property authority. Faster registration process. Unlike registration under international protocols, registering a trademark in a particular jurisdiction has set deadlines. For example, trademark registration in EU takes up to 4-6 months, in USA – approximately 4-6 months, and nearly 3 months in the United.

Cons:

Bureaucracy issues. The decision to prefer national registration over international one will haunt you with several difficulties, such as the necessity of applying to each country that you are interested in separately. Additional financial expenses. The decision to skip international registration can cause additional financial expenses. For instance, basic fee to register a TM through Mardid Protocol is 653 Swiss francs (app. 671 Euro) for a black and white mark (903 Swiss francs, app. 928 Eur, if in color) while the state fee for an electronic trademark application in the USA ranges from $250 to $400 per class of goods/services.

Wrapping up – How to Register Trademark Internationally

Intellectual property is the basis that forms the success of your company. Precisely, with the registration of your trademark internationally you receive a legal right for scaling your business to an international market. Moreover, your company decreases any risks that include infringements or any illegal uses of your brand or any information related to your company. Of course, this decision should be carefully considered, but with the proper strategy, it would be solely beneficial for your product and company.

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