Trademark rights are territorial. A U.S. trademark registration does not give you the right to use your mark in a foreign country. Gaining trademark rights in a foreign country is a matter of that country’s laws. To file a trademark application with the trademark office of a foreign country, the rules as to how the application is examined, how interested parties may oppose it, and so forth depend on the national trademark law of that country.
Why file overseas? Here are three reasons:
There are many countries with a first-to-file policy, which means that the first party to file its application shall have priority over others, regardless of who used the mark first in that country. So, if you delay, you risk having someone else file the same or similar trademark before you.
If you file your trademark in the U.S. first, you can take advantage of the 6-month priority window wherein your foreign application(s) can have the same effective filing date as your U.S. application, even though you filed it later.
If you lose prior rights, it could cost you more money to get your trademark back than had you filed your trademark in that country in the first place.
Before filing in foreign countries of interest to you, it is wise to conduct a pre-filing trademark availability search in those countries.
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We understand that filing and registering a trademark in the United States can be daunting if you are not fully apprised on the process and requirements. Before taking the right steps, you might have a lot of questions because the idea of a trademark is to protect your business interest as well as maximize your revenue. If you would like to know more about registering your trademark in the US, including searching for a trademark or responding to USPTO Office Actions, and would like us to help you, click here to write to us for a fee quote or schedule a short call with one of our trademark attorneys. For small businesses and startups, we offer special consultation rates. Get in touch with us today!