It is imperative before entering a new market with your product or service that you obtain advice from our team to ensure that, first and foremost, you are not infringing on any local operators, and secondly so we can ensure your brand is protected.
How would you feel if after spending thousands of dollars on gaining distribution partners and exporting your product in to another country, you were sent a letter demanding that you withdraw ALL of your product, remove all advertising, and possibly face legal action for infringing a local brand with trade mark rights?
This could happen if you do not undertake your due diligence prior to entering a new market. Before investing a significant amount of capital in to your international marketing campaign, you must ensure your brand is available for registration in each country of interest, and our team can do so by undertaking comprehensive trade mark availability and registrability searches. Our reports will provide you with the information you need in order to move forward with your investment in to expanding your brand overseas.
With the expertise of our Trade Mark Attorneys and the help of our highly skilled network of local associates, we can advise on the availability of your trade mark and secure registration of your brand in almost every country in the world.
We recommend seeking protection for your brand in every country of commercial interest to you – as soon as possible – given your rights are purely jurisdictional (ie. if you do not register in the USA you can not rely on your Australian TM registration in the event of infringement).
Your trade mark application can be filed individually in to each country of importance, however there are a few systems which help streamline the process and broaden your rights throughout a number of countries via one application:
- “International” Registration under Madrid Agreement/Protocol – a growing number of countries are joining the Madrid system of central registration. The application process is centralised, meaning one application is filed designating a number of countries, however the examination and eventual issue of registration is done separately in each country nominated. The rights arise in each national jurisdiction. Filing via the Madrid Protocol can often save trade mark owners a lot of money at the application stage as international associates are not required to assist with filing.
- European Community Trade Mark (CTM) – A CTM covers all 27 countries of the European Union (and will automatically extend to any new countries which join that Union in the future.)
- Benelux – comprises of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – the registration covers all three countries as if they were one, and it cannot be divided or split.
- United Arab Emirates – The UAE is a Federation of seven Gulf States including Abu-Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al-Quwain.
- O.A.P.I. – Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle, also known as the African Union, is a union of 14 former French colonies and a trade mark registration covers all 14 States.
It is always best to meet with our team to discuss your plans for your brand expansion sooner rather than later – the early bird always catches the worm! We can provide you our recommendations for safeguarding the rights to your trade mark, along with the appropriate filing strategy to suit your export plans and importantly, your budget.