Does a Trademark Need to be Registered in Every Country?
If you're registering for a trademark worldwide, the logo or phrase you're registering for will differentiate your products or services from everyone else's. This trademark grants you a logo or phrase to which you are entitled. This means it can't be registered by any other entity or organization.That also means you cannot use someone else's trademark either.
If you're individual seeking protection from Intellectual Property infringement of your trademark, both locally and internationally, global trademark protection will be very useful to you. Trademark owners should register trademark rights in each country they wish to seek protection from. There are a lot of reasons that will benefit you by registering trademarks internationally.
Protection from Foreign Counterfeiters
You may find overseas-based organizations or even individuals running small-scale operations replicating your brand's products. You'll find that the counterfeit market is booming overseas as more and more people are manufacturing replicas of a preexisting brand's products and making profits off of your brand's identity.
Big brand names like Nike and Adidas have a lot of counterfeiters overseas, even having filed multiple trademarks globally. Since these brands operate at huge levels, a few counterfeiters copyrighting their products wouldn't prove to be much of a problem.
However, if you're a brand that has yet to gain recognition, counterfeiters can pose a problem for your brand. Therefore, you must file trademarks in countries where you recognize the counterfeit's origination. While it sounds like a compliment, counterfeiters replicating your products may damage your brand's reputation by making inferior quality products with your brand name and logo.
Operating Online Makes your Products Globally Accessible
With the rise in technological dependency, many brands are operating online, making it a lot easier for consumers locally and internationally to purchase your products and services.However, this has given rise to certain buyers adopting illicit practices like using other brand's products to sell in their own countries. The global marketplace is so readily available that certain parties use it as an opportunity for business growth.
Parties such as retailers and product distributors engage in illicit practices by selling other brands' products in their countries at the expense of brands failing to file trademarks in those countries.
As your brand grows popular internationally, your brand name becomes desirable.
Trademark registration in countries where your products are available would help prevent other businesses from stealing your trademark or logo, which can confuse buyers.
Register your Trademark Through the Madrid Protocol
The Madrid Protocol is a straightforward and convenient way to register a trademark globally. It is a cost-effective method to file a trademark since you can file a single application that could grant you trademark protection in over 128 countries.
You usually have to pay a single fee that grants you trademark access in several countries. You can expand your trademark portfolio globally through a centralized system.
The application steps for a Madrid Protocol are generally simple and easy. When filing for a Madrid Protocol, the trademark owner must submit a single application through an organization called the "World Intellectual Property Organization. This application then reaches the different countries that are members of the protocol.
This protocol grants you significant cost savings as a way to file trademarks in different countries. It, however, requires that you provide accurate and detailed information before registering for a Madrid Protocol.
Rules of the Madrid Protocol
You'll be provided with a certificate by the International Trademark Register, and your brand's proposed logo or trademark will be published in the International Trademark Register.This is only if your Trademark Application has been able to fulfill all the rules under the Madrid Protocol.
Every country under the Madrid Protocol will be communicated further about the International Trademark Registration so that they can avoid any acts of copyright infringement. Each country operating under the Madrid Protocol has the right to refuse security.
An Opportunity for Growth
Businesses with a registered trademark signify the registered proprietor's desirability in the market and can prove a potential growth opportunity. If you have a registered trademark, you'll be entitled to a number of options that might help you gain money and make a considerable name in the market.
You'll see that primarily only authentic businesses that seem to be dominating the marketplace have trademarks associated with them globally.
Nike or Adidas would be prime examples of businesses that have filed trademarks internationally. That's because of the many counterfeiters operating in countries that continually manufacture duplicated products.
A Distinct Identity
If you've been able to gain recognition in the International Trademark Registration as a proprietor, your products and services will become popular internationally.
A trademark makes your products and services unique. This is because competitors usually provide similar offerings to your products, but the name and brand recognition play an essential part in generating profitability.
Therefore, a trademark registration will help your brand stand out from its competitors.
Renewals and Changes
Once your International Trademark is accepted after registration, you'll be granted validity for 10 years. This period grants you access to trademark rights encompassing various countries.
Once your International Trademark loses its validity, you can always submit another renewal application. If you've registered for a trademark once, you definitely won't have a problem submitting another application that entails the exact requirements for the Trademark Registration.
Protection of your Brand during Import and Export
Trademark protection helps protect your interests during imports and exports.Suppose an Intellectual Property infringement on your trademark takes place globally during the import and export process. In that case, you might have gained the right to file actions against unlawful users in a court of law.
How Can you Protect Your Trademarks Globally as Exporters?
There are a few ways to protect your trademarks globally from potentially unlawful practices like Intellectual Property infringement.
Use Your Customers and Distributors
A useful strategy to protect yourself from Intellectual Property infringement could be employing your customers and distributors.
Since your customers are your end-users and actively seek the market for competing offerings, it's only a matter of time before they can find out about any conflicting trademarks.
You'll find that a lot of companies with trademark representation make sure to warn consumers of Intellectual Property infringement and its consequences. There are sometimes even warnings included.
Involving customers and distributors for your trademark protection is usually not done on a larger scale with multinationals and big brand names like Puma or Adidas. This is because they're operating at such a large scale in multiple countries that it's almost impossible for consumers to report back.
Police your Trademark
Having a trademark also means having to protect it from infringement.
Businesses owning a trademark know Trademark Enforcement, which recognizes taking action against parties that unlawfully use the trademark. All parties involved in trademark encroachment can be taken to court if the owner of the brand wishes to file a lawsuit.
As a user who filed a lawsuit against a conflicting party, you'll have to prove ownership of your trademark's validity and rank in terms of seniority. You'll need to prove to the court that your logo or trademark was introduced before the accused party.
How Can you Register for a Trademark?
There is a procedure through which you can register registering your trademark internationally. You can successfully get your trademark registered once you follow these steps.
Give your Application to the National Trademark Office
You need to register for an international trademark through a trademark application in your country at the Trademark and Intellectual Property Office. Once you're done registering for trademark registration, you've received eligibility for international trademark registration.
Your international trademark registration will be submitted to the same Trademark Office, and your application will then be forwarded to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Examination by the WIPO
Your request for an international trademark will be addressed to the WIPO, who will conduct a thorough examination. Once your request is approved, your trademark will be recorded in the International Trademark Register.
Examination by National Offices
The IP offices will secure the regions where you've selected for a trademark. You'll be notified once the WIPO lists the options of Trademark Offices in the International Register. If one of the offices doesn't end up securing your trademark, this particular office will not persuade the choices of different offices.
You've probably understood how a trademark can help your brand and protect you from any unlawful practices that may be used against you. Once you get a trademark, you can't let anyone steal your brand's identity.