When does trademark protection begin?

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Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

In most cases, the protection granted by a trademark begins from the date of filing the trademark application - provided the examiner does not later refuse the application. This gives the owner of the mark some legal options while they wait for their mark to be registered, for example, they gain priority right over anyone filing an identical/confusingly similar mark after them.

In some jurisdictions, e.g. the USA, trademark protection begins once you start using your trademark in commerce to identify your goods and services. By using your trademark in the marketplace, you establish common law rights even before seeking official registration. However, common law trademark rights are limited when compared to formal registration. For example, they are geographically limited to the areas where you have been using the mark.

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