Foreign Trademark Application

Trademark protection is territorial. A US registered trademark provides protection in the United States only.  Its protection does not extend beyond its borders. 

If trademark protection is desired outside the United States, foreign trademark protection must be obtained.  Unlike US trademark rights, foreign trademark rights are not acquired through use.  Registration is required, and the first-to-file has priority over subsequent applicants.

A trademark application must be filed in each country where trademark protection is needed, unless protection can be achieved through regional or international applications.  A regional application can be filed through the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market, which administers a Community Trade Mark (CTM) to cover 27 countries in the European Union.  For more information about international applications, see the International Applications page.

A trademark application filed in a foreign country may claim priority to a US trademark application, if the country is a convention country under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This is referred to as a right of priority.  Conversely, US trademark application may claim priority to foreign trademark applications.

A right of priority is a limited time right triggered by the filing date of an original trademark application.  By making a claim for priority, the applicant receives the filing of the original trademark application as the effective filing date of a subsequently filed application making the priority claim.  The period of time for making the priority claim in a trademark application is six months from the filing date of the original trademark application.

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