What’s the Best Way to Apply an International Trademark?


International trademark law can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re planning on going global with your business, consider this guide to be an introduction to some of the issues you’ll need to consider as you navigate the ins and outs of international trademark law.

Get Familiar with the Basics of International Trademark Law

The Madrid Protocol is an international trademark law that allows you to apply for trademark protection in multiple countries at once. It simplifies the process of applying for a trademark in multiple jurisdictions, and it has its own set of rules and regulations that you need to know before beginning the application process.

If you’ve never applied for an international trademark before, get familiar with some basic concepts related to how trademarks work:

  • What is a trademark?
  • What is a registered mark?
  • How do trademarks protect my business?

How to Apply for the Trademark

You can apply for a trademark through the Madrid Protocol in any of the member states. This means that you’ll have to go through the local trademark office and adhere to their laws, regulations, requirements and fees. Determine which countries you want to apply for protection in based on your business model and regional presence. Consider what industries are most important to your company’s success, as well as how many countries you’re looking at entering at once.

Register Your mark in National Trademark Offices

When you have a great trademark and want to protect it, the best way to do that is by registering your mark in national trademark offices.

Registering your trademark in one country doesn’t guarantee registration in others. You must register your mark in each country where you wish to use the mark and pay fees at each office separately. A single application goes through an initial examination phase before proceeding through prosecution (where it’s compared with other marks that are identical or confusingly similar). If your application passes its initial examination, it will then proceed through further examinations (or renewals) until its registration is approved by all offices involved.


Filing an international trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is not as complicated as it sounds, but there are a few things to keep in mind when filing abroad.

First of all, you can file your application yourself or hire an attorney or trademark agent to do the work for you. If you choose not to hire someone, the USPTO provides free online resources that walk applicants through each step of the process and answer questions about fees, forms, and other details related to applications for international registration under Madrid Protocol procedures.

Second—and this may be surprising—the USPTO allows third parties such as attorneys or agents who have entered into special agreements with national offices in other countries where they want their clients’ marks protected from foreign competitors.


Registering an international trademark is not as challenging as it seems, all you have to do this follow the right steps and fulfil all the requirements.

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