Protecting Your Trademarks Outside the US is Getting Easier – Here’s Why

[Link: Trademark Series: Building a Global Brand – Ladas & Parry LLP]

Taking a brand international means exporting the reputation you’ve built up in the US to promote your product in new countries. And that’s where things can go wrong, explains attorney Dennis Prahl from Ladas & Parry in the above video:

“The last thing you want to have to do is to rebrand a product in a specific country because you’ve bumped up against somebody else. That’s what having good, solid trademark protection does.”

Fortunately, protecting your trademark across the globe is getting easier. Here’s why:

1. More countries are joining the Madrid Protocol:

“In 2012, Colombia, New Zealand and the Philippines joined the Madrid System and on February 19, 2013, Mexico will become a member. Other countries that recently joined include Egypt, Israel, Croatia and Vietnam. […] Extending an existing Madrid System registration to new countries is extremely cost-effective; often the filing costs are at least 50% lower than the cost of in-country filings, and the renewal and assignment costs provide even greater savings.” (Perkins Coie)

2. Chinese courts are stepping up protection of rights holders:

“It is no secret that trademark infringements are rampant in the People’s Republic of China. As the popular phrase goes, ‘傍名牌,搭便车,’ which translates to ‘feigning as brand name companies and free riding on their coattails,’ these cases have steadily increased over the years. In fact, in 2012 alone, PRC courts have heard 19,815 trademark civil cases and 1,123 trademark administrative and unfair competition cases. With the rising number of disputes, PRC courts have taken an active stance to resolve disputes and protect companies from improper trademark infringements and unfair competition.” (K&L Gates)

3. Europe has begun to reform its trademark system:

“The European Commission has proposed a number of initiatives aimed at improving trade mark registration systems all over the European Union to make them cheaper, quicker, more reliable and more predictable. For example, as well as harmonising the rules and criteria for the classification of goods and services and introducing new fee structures for national registries and OHIM, the Commission proposes a new definition of a trade mark and a number of significant procedural changes aimed at reducing cost and delay.” (McDermott Will & Emery)

The updates:

Further reading:

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