A trademark protects your brand name and logo from being used by anybody else. It helps you to retain exclusive rights to using them within a specific sector or region.
For many small businesses in this country, that means trademarking under the relevant classes within the UK only. After all, not everyone is ready to dive straight into the deep end of international trading.
Those who are ready to take the plunge and expand across borders will need an International Trademark.
How to file for an International Trademark
It is possible to apply for International Trademarks via the trademark office of each country you wish to trade in. Unfortunately, this can be a long and unnecessarily arduous process at times.
The most straightforward way to apply for an International Trademark is through the European and International filing systems. It tends to be less costly, far more time-efficient and a much more streamlined process.
The International Trademarking process
Any International Trademark application is based on an existing in-country registration. This means that you must already have a base application for trademarking within the UK.
It’s worth noting that you can file a UK and International application at the same time, as long as the applications are identical.
Once this is in order, you then need to check if the country (or countries) you want to do business are a part of The Madrid Protocol. Which leads us to our next heading.
What is The Madrid Protocol?
The Madrid Protocol is a legal agreement controlled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). It lists nearly 100 member-countries where you will be able to file for an International Trademark.
The only person who can complete this application process is the person who is responsible for the UK registration. You can also apply for a European Trademark (EUTM) through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This ensures protection for your business in European Union member countries, too.
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About The Author
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.