Is it better to register trademarks in more countries at once or could this be done in a staged way?

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Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

It is possible to apply for a trademark in more countries at once; however, you can also consider applying in some countries first and expanding your protection to others later.

If you are interested in applying in more countries simultaneously to gain a larger geographical scope of protection, you can go about it two ways.

  1. You can use the services of an attorney or a law firm, who will file the applications on your behalf. In each country of your choice, an individual application must be filed. For this reason, you might need multiple legal representatives. It depends on what territories are covered by the attorney/legal service of your choice
  2. The second option is to use the Madrid System and file your application via WIPO. In this case, you will need something called a base application. This is an application filed in a country where your company is incorporated or where you are a citizen, depending on who the owner of the trademark will be (physical person/legal entity). You can file the base application yourself; however, to prevent any errors, you can still hire an attorney. You can then request an international filing in as many WIPO member states as you wish. This is a very good option for those who are looking to file an application in more countries, using one attorney and one language.

The ultimate question of how many countries you should initially apply in mostly depends on your finances. Filing a trademark application in multiple countries at the same time can be pretty costly. If you are looking for the broadest possible protection, and your finances allow it, you can file your application in as many countries as you like. The faster you file your application, the earlier the protection of your brand starts. On the other hand, if your finances are limited at the moment, you can consider covering your main markets first and expanding the protection at a later date.

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