If I file a trademark, when will I be protected?

Photo of Igor Demcak

Written by Igor Demcak

Founder & Trademark Attorney

The specific timing and extent of trademark protection can vary depending on the jurisdiction and individual circumstances. Let's look at some examples:

In many countries, including the EU and the UK, when you file a trademark, your brand gains some level of protection from the filing date. For example, you gain priority over anyone filing a similar trademark application after you. If your application is approved, you gain full rights counting from the date of filing, meaning you would be able to fight infringement that happened between the filing date and registration date.

On the other hand, in the US, you gain priority right after filing, too, but if your application is approved, the validity of your trademark starts from the registration date. But more importantly, in the US, a more important date is the date of first use of your brand in the marketplace, which can date back even before application filing. This might make it seem that a trademark is unnecessary in the US if all you need is to be the first to use a brand. However, since the priority right based on previous use in the market is harder to prove, a registered trademark strengthens a business owner's protection.

These examples hopefully demonstrate the complexity of trademark protection. It's essential to consult with a trademark attorney or intellectual property professional to understand the specific requirements and timelines applicable to your jurisdiction.

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