In which countries should I monitor my trademark?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

Generally speaking, when it comes to monitoring new trademark application filings, you want to monitor the countries where you are commercially active. Ideally, this will also be where you have a registered trademark, but depending on the country, it might not be a requirement.

Let's look at two examples. If you are commercially active in the US, you should likely monitor US marks even without owning a US trademark. If someone files a mark that is confusingly similar to your brand, you can oppose it on the grounds of your earlier use in the US market. (However, we should add that owning a US trademark would make this easier.)

On the other hand, let's say you perform trademark monitoring in China or other first-to-file jurisdiction. Then, if you uncover a similar mark, you wouldn't be able to oppose it without owning a Chinese trademark.

This is why you generally want to decide based on your presence in the market, but factors such as national laws and where you own a trademark also play a role.

One more thing to keep in mind here is the dual system of protection in the EU. If you, for example, own a German trademark, you'll want to monitor Germany's IP office (DPMA) as well as the EU's IP office (EUIPO) since both German and EU trademarks can infringe upon yours.

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that if you have a trademark monitoring provider and are choosing from their packages, global monitoring may be cheaper than subscribing to multiple single-country packages.

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