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Where should I file my international trademark?

Updated: Apr 16

Where should I file an international trademark?

As a general rule you should protect your international trademark in the countries in which you currently use or intend to use the mark. 

It isn’t commercially reasonable to register your mark in every country around the world.

A government buildings with two rows of international flags out the front
You should file your international trademark in the countries in which you currently use or intend to use your trademark

Many businesses like to apply to protect their brand overseas as a matter of course, rather than because they are actively intending on using the mark in another country.

This is generally a bad idea and a waste of money. 

There are two main reasons why.

What to consider when deciding where to protect your brand

Some countries require you to submit evidence of use

It is a requirement in many countries that you only register a TM that you currently use or have an intention to use in that market. 

Some jurisdictions, including the US and the Philippines, require you to submit evidence of use of your TM after a certain period of time.

If you don’t submit evidence of use, or if you can’t prove you have been using your TM without an excuse, you might lose your registration or incur additional costs.

Your international registration may be cancelled if it isn't used

If you obtain registration in another country and haven’t used it within a specified period of time (generally within 3 or 5 years from the date it was registered), in many places it's possible for other people to apply to cancel or remove your trade mark from that country's register. 

Having a large international portfolio won’t mean much if your TMs aren’t being used in that market, and are at risk of being cancelled or removed.

For these reasons its best practice to only apply in countries in which you currently use or intend to use your mark in relation to the goods and services you have covered by your registration.

Need more guidance about what countries you should file in? Reach out for tailored advice.

Need help?

Filing an international application can be complicated and it may be difficult to work out which option is best for you. At Markster we make the process of filing internationally easy. Please feel free to get in touch.

If you need help with your brand or have a trade mark issue, contact us today.

*Please note, the information in this article is general in nature and is not legal advice. You should seek independent legal advice tailored to you and your circumstances.


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