For business’ operating solely in the US, registering their trademark with the USPTO is a good step towards protecting the mark nationwide. However, rarely nowadays are business’ limited to just the United States. Complicating the matter is the fact that, unlike in the United States, many countries utilize a system of trademark protection, where the first person to register a mark may have greater control over a mark than the party who first uses it in that territory (Examples include France, Germany, and China). Waiting to file an applications in these countries can have significant and costly adverse effects if someone else swoops in before you have a chance to file. Sometimes prior filers do so innocently, but more commonly it is bad faith Trademark Squatters.
International Trademark Applications
Fortunately, several options exist for companies needing protection internationally. This can be done in a number of ways.
- Applications can be filed in each individual country.
- For applications in multiple countries around the globe, a process known as a Madrid Application can be used to files single application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and similarly,
- For application in the European Union, an application can be filed for a European Union Trade Mark (formerly Community Trade Mark), covering all member states of the EU, may be filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
However, deciding how and when to file these applications can be complicated.Whether it is the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Benelux countries, Japan, Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, or Canada, Kunkle Law PLC can assist you with your international trademark applications.
In addition to filing these foreign trademark applications, I can assist you in maintaining these registrations.
If you think you may want to expand your mark into international markets, please contact me at 612-313-4114 to discuss your options.