Overseas Trademark Applications
Overseas Trademark Filing Options
There are three main routes to obtain foreign trademark protection:
- International ‘Madrid’ trademark applications
- European trademark applications
- Direct national trademark applications
In brief, Madrid applications are international applications that designate a number of countries, and European trademark applications cover the whole EU.
Not all countries can be covered by Madrid applications, thus it can sometimes be essential to file direct national applications, for example South Africa.
Deadline For Filing Overseas Applications
There is no deadline for filing overseas trademark applications. However, for the following reasons it can be beneficial to file overseas applications within 6 months of first-filing.
Filing a first trademark application (normally either UK or European trademark) generates a priority date (the date of first filing a trademark application for mark for the goods/services covered).
Applications for overseas trademark protection that are filed within 6 months of the first application can be backdated to the priority date by ‘claiming priority’.
It is possible to file applications for overseas protection outside of the 6-month period, but any such application will not have the benefit of the priority date.
This means that any problematic intervening trademark rights filed between the priority date and the date of overseas filing will take precedence (thereby possibly preventing registration of the mark overseas).
Contact us for a free consultation or for more information on overseas trademark applications.