About International Trademark Registration
Protect your mark in today's global economy by registering your mark abroad. This is an essential step to conducting business outside the United States. In addition to applying for protection in the United States, you should consider seeking trademark protection in other countries. By filing an international application or applications in selected countries and regions, you can safeguard your rights overseas, whether you are currently doing business abroad or are planning to in the future. Your United States trademark registration will only protect you against others appropriating your mark within the borders of the United States. Your United States trademark registration will not enable you to prevent others from using your mark outside the United States.
The International Application
An International (or Madrid) Application is based on the Madrid Protocol, an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and ratified by the U.S. Senate in November 2002 when the U.S. Trademark Office began accepting International Applications from U.S. applicants. The International Application allows trademark owners to protect their trademarks in over 95 countries and regions that are also Contracting Parties to the Madrid Protocol.
To file an International Application the owner of a mark must have already registered or applied for registration of their mark with the U.S. Trademark Office or another Madrid Protocol Contracting Party IP Office. Additionally, before filing an International Application, a search of WIPO and designated national and regional IP office databases should be conducted to determine if identical or confusingly similar marks exist that could pose challenges to registration. After an International Application is filed, the IP Office of a designated Contracting Party has one year to provisionally refuse an international registration from the date it was notified of the registration by WIPO, and, in certain limited circumstances, Contracting Parties can opt to extend the refusal period to 18 months, or even longer. If notification of a provisional refusal is not received within the applicable time limits, the mark is considered protected in the territory of the designated Contracting Party concerned for all the goods and services for which protection has been requested.
Trademark Protection in Non-Madrid Countries
Although more than 95 nations and regions have adopted the Madrid Protocol, there are some significant exceptions: Canada , for example, has yet to ratify the Protocol. It is both possible and affordable to protect your trademark in countries that do not accept Madrid Applications. Our attorneys have years of experience facilitating country-by-country trademark registrations and would be happy to discuss the process with you.
To request a trademark search for an International word or design mark (logo) please submit your request via our secure On-line Trademark Search Request Form or our Printable Trademark Search Request Form.