Do trademarks apply across countries?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

No, a trademark is only valid in the jurisdiction where the IP Office has approved the application.

There are a few jurisdictions which are covered in one trademark application, examples of which can be made of Benelux (BX) covering Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the European Union (EU), which covers its member states or the African Intellectual Property Organization (OA) covering its Member states.

You can file in multiple countries through WIPO, but remember you are still applying for multiple independent trademarks in each of the selected countries.

So, when registering a trademark, you need to choose which countries you want your brand to be protected in. The recommendation is usually to register in the jurisdictions where your brand is active or where you plan to expand shortly. Being 'active' refers to offering your brand's products or services to the public for sale or manufacturing them.

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