Registering a Trademark Internationally

The Benefits of Registering a Trademark Internationally

Trademarks are an essential aspect of the modern business landscape. Businesses spend decades building up the reputation of their trademarks, earning customer trust and loyalty. Thanks to this, some of the most valuable companies have trademarks so powerful and well-regarded that they are worth 1/3 of the company’s total value, sometimes even more. But all of this is only possible if businesses can protect their exclusive right to use a trademark, which is where trademark registration comes in.

If you have already registered your trademark in the USA or in whatever country you operate, you have already taken an important step towards protecting your trademark. But if you hope to one day expand internationally or have interests overseas, it’s also important to go through the international trademark registration process to protect your brand.

How it works

Unfortunately, the process for registering your trademark around the globe is everything but straightforward. While some treaties can make this process faster and less costly, registering your trademark internationally still comes down to registering with each country individually.

There are a few exceptions to this. The Madrid Protocol allows companies to register their trademarks with over 70 countries at once. Said trademark still has to be approved by each of the countries individually, but this is still cheaper and faster than trying to apply for trademark protection in each of those countries. You can also apply for trademark protection from the European Intellectual Protection office, which if granted, will protect your trademark in all countries that belong to the European Union.

All of this is to say that while still complicated, registering your trademark internationally is not as hard as it once was. And there are plenty of reasons why going through this trouble can be worth it.

International trademarks: the benefits

As you might have guessed, the main advantages of registering an international trademark come down to being able to protect your brand more easily in those countries. Which can be useful in a variety of scenarios.

Say for example that after expanding into the e-commerce space, your company starts to ship goods internationally. Suddenly your store becomes a hit in Australia, finding a niche but enthusiastic audience that often visits your site and orders from you.

This success may encourage bad actors to try and copy your brand to sell counterfeited items online or in stores in Australia. The result is not only a loss in earnings but also damage to your brand, since counterfeited items are seldom as good as the original goods.

There are legal resources you can pursue against this type of practice if you don’t have a trademark registered in Australia. But if you do have trademark protection in the country, cracking down on this type of behavior is much easier.

A registered trademark also makes it easier for you to deal with businesses that claim to be associated with your brand. Whether it be an overseas supplier who’s overreaching and claiming to be a subsidiary of your company or even a random business who decided to lie on their homepage and say your company is one of their former clients.

All of this is to say that if your company has any kind of interest abroad, registering an international trademark is wise. The same goes for if your company has plans of expanding internationally in the future.

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