Thinking about registering a trademark abroad? Here’s what you need to know before embarking on the process. These tips and hints will help you avoid any pitfalls and make registering go as smoothly as possible.

Consider Where You Want to Register Your Trademark

Are you thinking of registering in just one foreign country or multiple? This preliminary question will change a lot about the way that you go about the process. As a business-minded individual, you know that you should not just think about the here and now but also the future and long-term goals.

You might not see international expansion happening now but it could occur later. Therefore, consider if there are other countries that your company will be delving into over the long term. This will help you determine the geographic markets that you will be entering.

Be Aware of the Up-Front Costs

International trademark registration does not come cheaply and this can be a factor that prohibits smaller companies and startups from obtaining registration overseas. It is best to budget for this kind of thing and do your research early on.

In addition, you should keep in mind that the overall benefits and financial rewards of registering and protecting your trademark overseas can be well worth it. That legal security can prove to be invaluable as you expand your business. That being said, you do not want to apply for trademark registration in just any country. Be proactive but also practical about where you choose to apply.

Research the Market in Each Country

Before you start to apply for trademark registration in your chosen country, you should conduct a comprehensive search to be sure that there are not already companies there that have your name, logo, or slogan. You do not want to infringe on their registered trademarks. Taking the time to do this thorough search will definitely be worth the extra time and effort as you can avoid legal troubles and fees.

Check for Regional or International Systems

This tip is especially useful if you are looking to register your trademark in multiple countries. Check out any groupings of multiple nations to see if you could take advantage of any savings.

For instance, the Madrid Protocol system includes 121 countries and it is continuously growing. It would probably be in your best interest to check this system out and see if there is a way to save money on international registration and protection. Another example of this could be applying for EU trademark protection, which would cover a number of countries in the European Union.

Register Your Trademark in the U.S. First

Before delving into international markets, be sure that you register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) first. Not only will this grant you federal protection but it gives you more clout when applying for legal security and registration in other countries. You will also get a taste for how the system works, which can make it easier for you when applying again.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

It can seem daunting to apply for trademark registration abroad so you might feel more confident working with a qualified attorney who is used to working on such matters. Utilizing an attorney also makes sense when seeking trademark registration in countries that are not part of systems such as the Madrid Protocol.

For instance, Canada and Saudi Arabia do not belong to the Madrid System so if you want trademark registration in either of those nations, it might be in your best interest to hire a lawyer. Just be sure that it is an attorney who is a resident of that specific country as this can speed up the process and help you avoid costly errors.