What does "First to file" mean in trademark law?

Photo of Tomas Orsula

Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

"First to file" refers to countries granting the priority right to a trademark to whoever is the first to file a trademark application, irrespective of whether they have used the mark in commerce first. The earliest filer will be successful even if they haven't used the trademark in commerce at all at the time of filing.

Most countries use the first-to-file system since it's easier to administer. Therefore, securing a trademark in these countries as soon as possible is advisable instead of waiting after the mark has already been used in commerce.

Related questions

Advice icon

Haven't found what you are looking for?

Our team of experienced trademark attorneys is here to help you! Simply send us an email outlining your request and we'll be happy to assist you.