In today’s globalised world, protecting your brand is more important than ever. With the rise of e-commerce and international trade, businesses are increasingly operating on a global scale, making it crucial to have a globally recognised trademark.
In this article, we explore how registering an international trademark can safeguard brand value and why it should be a top priority for businesses looking to expand their reach.
What is International Trademark Registration?
Global trademark registration is a form of protection for your brand in multiple countries where it is registered in. It can be used to protect a company’s name, logo, slogan, product design, or any other unique identifier associated with its products or services.
The Madrid Protocol
When it comes to trademark registration, there are two main options: national registration and international registration. National registration involves filing for trademark protection in each country where you wish to register your mark.
This process can be time-consuming and expensive as it requires filing separate applications in each jurisdiction. International registration offers an easier and more cost-effective solution for companies looking to protect their brand on a global scale.
The Madrid Protocol is a procedural treaty that allows companies to file one application that covers multiple countries at once. It is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s International Bureau.
This system streamlines the process of obtaining international protection for trademarks while also reducing costs associated with filing multiple applications in different countries.
Related Read: Guide to Global Trademark Registration
What Are the Benefits of Registering a Trademark Internationally?
Registering a trademark internationally is ideal for companies looking to protect their brand value and expand their reach. Here are some reasons why:
Legal Protection Against Misuse and Competition
By registering a trademark globally through the Madrid Protocol, companies can ensure that their branding is protected against misuse and competition in multiple jurisdictions around the world.
This helps prevent competitors from using similar marks that could confuse customers or damage a company’s reputation. It also helps prevent others from taking advantage of a company’s hard work by copying its branding without permission or authorisation.
Builds Trust Among Customers
In addition to providing legal protection against misuse and competition, registering trademarks globally can also help companies build trust among customers.
It achieves this by demonstrating that they are serious about protecting their brand identity and reputation worldwide.
Customers will be more likely to purchase products from brands they trust because they know their money is going towards something legitimate rather than something counterfeit or stolen from another company’s branding efforts.
Builds Business Value
A strong trademark can increase the value of your business by making it more attractive to potential buyers or investors. By having an internationally recognised trademark, you can demonstrate that your brand is a valuable asset with global recognition and protection.
Opens Up Business Opportunities
Global trademark registration also helps to safeguard your intellectual property (IP), which can pave the way to business opportunities – such as licensing and partnerships.
These valuable opportunities can lead to increased revenue and growth opportunities.
Reduces the Risk of Lengthy Litigation
Litigation to obtain your trademark right can become a lengthy battle that is also costly and time-consuming.
Arguably, it is easier to register a trademark first and go against further registration of similar trademarks than to dispute an identical trademark that has already been registered.
It is also easier for you to do so because a registered trademark can prove – to a certain extent – that your mark does not infringe on an existing trademark.
If you fail to do so, it could be hard to prove that you did not plagiarise the IP from somewhere else or that you are its true owner.
What Are Some Painful Lessons to Learn From the Past?
These lessons from our predecessors prove that it is essential to maintain a global mindset when you register a new brand name. Here are some historic examples of brands that failed to register their trademark internationally:
Chinese corporation Hisense engaged in a protracted trademark infringement case with the German Bosch Siemens company over an identical trademark used for similar products.
Hisense was the first to register its trademark in China in 1993. After the latter’s success in the Chinese market, the German company tried to register its HiSense trademark for home electronic products in the European Union (EU) and Germany.
Following that, Hisense exported home appliances into the same regions and was sued by Bosch Siemens over the infringement of the registered HiSense trademark.
Eventually, in 2005, Bosch Siemens transferred the trademark to Hisense – a settlement move that may not have happened if they had filed an international trademark application.
Kodak is a well-known photography company that did not register its trademark early enough. As a result, many similar companies adopted similar names or logos, causing confusion among consumers.
This made it harder for Kodak to distinguish itself from competitors, and eventually, it lost its position as a market leader.
In Australia, a small takeaway food chain registered the name “Burger King” before the American fast-food giant did.
When Burger King tried to enter the Australian market, it was forced to change its name to “Hungry Jack’s” because the trademark was already taken. This caused a loss of brand recognition and market share for Burger King in Australia.
Register Your Trademark Globally With InCorp
By obtaining international trademark protection, you can ensure that your brand is legally protected in multiple countries, open up new business opportunities, increase the value of your business, and much more.
With the Madrid Protocol, the process of obtaining international trademark protection has never been easier or more affordable. Protect your brand today with InCorp’s expert team and set yourself up for success in the global marketplace!
FAQs on International Trademark Registration
- Trademarks can be registered internationally via the WIPO’s Madrid Protocol. InCorp can assist you in your global trademark registration through this system.
- A local trademark gives its owner the exclusive right to it in the local market, while an international trademark does it on an international scale in various markets.
- It lasts for 10 years from the registration date.