How to protect your trademark on the global market?

Sometimes our clients approach us to get a global trademark in ’one set’ – although such global rights would be perfect, we have to disappoint our clients from time-to-time for such misunderstanding – there is no such global right neither now nor envisaged for the future. Like other Intellectual Property rights, trademark rights are ’territorial’, meaning that to achieve protection to your trademark, it needs to be registered in a particular country or territory.

Like other Intellectual Property rights, trademark rights are ’territorial’

Riina Pärn

In general, there are three ways to proceed:

  • through national trademark systems
  • territorial trademark systems (e.g. European Union)
  • international trademark system

The latter, known as Madrid System, means filing a single application and seeking trademark protection in different countries/territories of interest, which have joined the system (over 120 countries covered). Although the International trademark requires a prior national (or certain territorial) trademark and each country proceeds with the examination to such International trademark under their national laws, the benefits of such International trademarks cannot be denied – it is convenient and cost-effective to have the protection to your trademark internationally, and to manage and expand it to further countries at any time though one centralized system.

It should also be mentioned that while seeking protection, there may arise some problems on country-by-country basis, either due to existing prior rights or other, but if obtaining protection to your mark, you get the exclusive right allowing you to enforce your rights against the infringers. So, after obtaining protection to your trademark, make sure to monitor your trademark on a regular basis in order to learn any possible other party infringements!