The principle of locality is applicable to most intellectual property rights. In other words, a right will be protected only there where it is registered. In case of trademarks, it is not possible to protect a trademark worldwide by a single application. If a trademark is to be used abroad, which is a natural requirement of today’s increasing trade relationships, such trademark must be registered also in the relevant foreign country. A right holder intending to get his trademark protected abroad may follow three different paths:
- a) Country-Based Trademark Application: This type of application is always valid. If a trademark is normally eligible for registration also under the laws of a given country, application is made by means of the trademark representative of the relevant country. This method is generally the more expensive and laborious the higher the number of countries. However, this type of application can be preferred if there is little chance to get registration via national or collective application systems, or if a country is not party to international trademark registration agreements.
- b) International Application under the Madrid Protocol: According to the Madrid Protocol, application may be filed in the signatory countries of the Madrid Protocol with a single application to be prepared in a single language, if a trademark is registered in Turkey. The current number of countries that are signatory of the Madrid Protocol is 98 and is increasing with each passing day. The signatory countries of the Madrid Protocol constitute 80% of global trade. International trademark applications under the Madrid Protocol is the most frequently used method. The primary advantages of this method are as follows:
- Trademark protection in several countries with a single application
- Use of a single language
- Reduced costs
- Rejection in a country does not affect the trademark’s registration in another country.
- c) Regional Trademark Application: Trademark protection can be achieved with a single trademark application in countries that are part of a certain region such as the European Union countries or some African countries. The primary advantage of this system is that a single application will provide common protection in the countries of the region involved, with the disadvantage that if an application is rejected in one of the countries, such rejection will affect the application as a whole. This method can be employed in cases where the likeliness of rejection is low, i.e. where an application in the relevant countries is filed only after comprehensive international preliminary research. The most frequently used regional trademark application system in Turkey is the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) system.
The most important issue to be taken into account in international trademark applications is to have very good knowledge about the relevant national and international practices. According to international conventions, the representatives of a country are not allowed to conduct transactions in another country. Thus, if a transaction is to be conducted in another country, contact must be established with the representative of that country. In this case, the second important issue is to know well the representative of the relevant country. Under normal circumstances, a representative can be found on the internet and assigned with the required tasks. However, inevitable harms can result if such an important task like trademarks is assigned to somebody by relying just on information available on a website.
Kordinat performs its international trademark protection activities via experienced trademark representatives that are knowledgeable on the subject. The foreign representatives, with whom Kordinat has been collaborating abroad for many years, are reliable representatives who work at optimum prices.