How to register an International Trademark

Register a trademark locally

In order to apply for an international trademark you must already have registered a mark for your brand in your own country. In the UK you can do this through the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). When registering a trademark you should always complete a comprehensive search prior to applying for your chosen name to ensure that it is available in your chosen marketplace and to reduce the likelihood of infringing on an existing trademark.

Do your research

Before applying for an trademark in another country, be sure to research their local trademark application requirements and regulations. This will save your company a significant amount of time and effort in the long term. More information on trademark rules and regulations in other jurisdictions can be found on the WIPO website.

Consider the Madrid System

The Madrid Agreement can protect your trademark in 113 countries around the world including the European Union, China, the US and Australia. You can either choose to protect your mark in all of the countries or to only pick out a few.

To apply for an international trademark your company would need to file a MM2 form with your local Intellectual Property Office and then pay a fee to submit the application. Filing a single international trademark saves a company time, money and effort in the long run and makes their trademark portfolio much easier to manage.

However, if you want to register a mark in a jurisdiction that is not included in the Madrid system it is recommended to speak to a trademark attorney, preferably in that country,  who will be able to advise you how to best proceed. The Legal 500 is a list of attorneys by jurisdiction who are also listed by their specialized fields.

Could your brand be offensive in your chosen countries

Some words that are not seen as offensive in English can be when translated in other languages in other cultures. In order to reduce the risk of this happening, your company should think about how your brand would be translated in that country before filing your application.

Do not hesitate in filing your mark

In some countries, local companies have taken to registering names of big foreign corporates in order to profit from them. When the corporate tries to enter their market they would be forced to either fight for their rights in court, rebrand their product or give in and buy back their own trademark.

The best way to protect your brand is through registering a trademark. When entering a new market, it is best to register a trademark before you begin trading. Although this is not always possible in some countries like China, your company should still aim to file for a trademark application as early as possible to reduce the likelihood of future conflicts with other similar brands.

For advice and more information on searching, acquiring, registering and enforcing Trademarks please visit our website,
Our unique database of trademarks for sale or license could save you time and help protect your brand.


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