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If I register a trademark through WIPO, will it be global?

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Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

The simple answer to this question is no, it won't be. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a global trademark. Trademark registration is only valid in countries where an application has been filed and accepted. As a result, it is strongly recommended to register the trademark in markets where you currently sell or wish to sell your products and services in the future.

A trademark application can either be filed directly in a country of interest or via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The second option tends to be more cost-effective if you need more than five countries. To be able to file your application through WIPO, you will need to state your office of origin, which in other words means you need to have an application pending in one of the countries of the Madrid protocol. If your office of origin is not listed, the choosen country is not a member of the Madrid Union. Therefore, the international protection of your mark can only be obtained by applying for its registration with the Intellectual Property Office of each country or region in which you seek protection.

The pending application must be filed directly through the IP Office in the selected country, and the international filing process is then based on this registration. The same applies to the countries you would like to trademark using WIPO's services. The country you wish to gain protection for needs to be a member of Madrid protocol. If it's not, the registration cannot be done via WIPO, but via the concrete IP Office responsible for the given country.

While trademark application via WIPO expands the potential reach of individual applicants, the brand protection is only extended to the countries selected during the registration process.

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