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4 Reasons You Need International Trademark Protection

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

25 September 20233 min read

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Reasons You Need International Trademark Protection

Today, many businesses are global or have the potential to be. With the click of a mouse, your product can sail overseas or fly across the globe.

Since we have the opportunity to imagine possibilities of business on a global scale:

We must also understand the importance of protecting our assets on such a scale. 

Read on to learn why you should consider international trademark registration. That is, even if you have yet to plan to do business abroad. 

But first, let's explore how international registration works.

The international trademark system

The Madrid System, a trademark law solution facilitated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is how trademarks are registered worldwide.

Through one application, you can receive protection in up to 130 countries. 

Isn't that amazing?

However, international business protection of this scale is best completed with the help of a registered trademark attorney. 

#1 Trademarks are country specific

First of all, trademark registration is country-specific. This means that if you file your trademark in the US, it doesn't automatically grant you trademark protection across the globe. You have to file each trademark independently of each other.

Take note: You only have six months to file internationally!

But, if you make it within this window: 

The international applications will adopt the US application's filing date.

This is ideal because, typically, the first to file a trademark has a better chance to hold the rights to the trademark. So, after you file your US trademark application, act swiftly. Determine which other countries to protect your trademark in.

#2 Your defense is your best offense

Unfortunately, the reality is that there is a high rate of brand counterfeits and trademark infringement. This is especially true in some foreign countries, including China, Brazil, and India. 

So: 

You should consider preventing copycats from stealing your business in these countries.

Speak with your trademark lawyer about how to build an international defensive strategy. This should consist of key defensive filings in the World Intellectual Property Office.

After all, international copycats can damage or dilute your brand.

This is especially so if the copycat doesn't deliver the product according to your quality standards. Furthermore, once a copycat takes a stake in an international territory using your brand, they could be stealing your unassuming customers. 

#3 Your consumer's or revenue streams may be international

Many small business owners will identify only their core target audience's location. Then they'll spend all marketing dollars there. 

Rightfully so, but for trademark protection, you must imagine all possibilities as to where your brand may gain recognition. Your brand name can easily surpass the borders of your core audience (especially in this day-and-age). 

So, think about trademark registration in countries where your product may gain popularity.

#4 Companion platforms may be international

If you're thinking, "what on earth is a companion platform, don't worry. I'll elaborate. 

Companion platforms are the associated products, platforms, or services connected to your product or service.

Think of as many companion platforms as possible. This is to help you identify which other countries you may need international registration in.

Consider if your product depends on another internationally available/popular product. 

For instance:

If you're an IOS developer, you would want to file the trademark accompanying your app in countries where iPhones are popular.

And so, this desired brand protection includes many countries outside of the United States.

Consult with your attorney for international registration

As you can see, there are many reasons why trademark owners should file an international trademark application. That is, even if you have yet to make immediate plans to go abroad. 

Speak with your trademark lawyer to create a plan of action to protect your trademark internationally. You can even complete your trademark registration online with us in just a few easy steps. 


FAQs

Why is it essential to have international trademarks?

International trademarks offer you the federal protection you need to keep other businesses from using a similar or identical trademark to your nationally registered one. 

What does an international trademark cover?

An international trademark protects your trademark in several countries. And you can do this through just one single application. 

How long does an international trademark last?

An international trademark has to be renewed every ten years, proceeding the registration date. 

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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.