Registration of trademarks is territorial in nature. A separate application must be filed in each country where you want to register your trademark.
It is essential to register your trademarks in the countries you intend to sell and market your products. The fact is that in order to sell and market your products internationally, you must register trademark online in those countries. As a result, you must register your trademark in each country where yon company sees a potential or key market. A national trademark registration ends at the border, and the trademark owner has no rights outside of the country in which it is registered.
Trademark registration is crucial for a business once the water is above the bridge. Businesses expanding into new countries only recognize the value of trademark registration once it is too late. They must also be vigilant when they are confronted with counterfeiters/imitators or accused of infringing on the rights of others.
Costs Associated with Madrid Protocol Filing
Registering a trademark internationally is one of the best ways to protect brand image and products. As with American trademark registrations, international trademarks play an important role in preventing infringement by third parties and solving domain name disputes, among other things. To secure these investments for your intellectual property portfolio, it is important to have a realistic idea of how much such a venture might cost.
In order to file an international trademark application via the Madrid Protocol, the following fees are required:
- It costs $740 to join the Madrid Protocol. Prices may vary depending on exchange rates.
- The filing fees for each country range from $100 to 850 dollars (each country charges its own filing fees).
- Lawyer fees: $950+ (Legal fees are usually based on the number of countries filed in.)
There are three ‘fee buckets’ to consider. The first is a fee for exclusively using the Madrid Protocol system. Countries also charge fees. The application is prepared, it is filed, and it is tracked, and it is subject to legal fees.
Costs of Direct Filing (via local attorney)
For some international trademark filings, the Madrid Protocol may not be the best option. It may be cheaper to use a local lawyer instead of the Protocol to file in only one or two countries.
Direct trademark applications in any given country are filed through local attorneys for between $1500-$2500. Prices vary by country (based on the filing fee) as well as the number of services and time you need from the local lawyer.
It is rare for a trademark application to be filed in a foreign country. The majority of trademark attorneys in the United States (including ourselves) have established relationships with their local counterparts to help make these filings as seamless as possible.
Trademark Filing Costs in the European Union
When filing internationally, a EUTM is also an option to consider. Unlike other trademarks, EUTMs (European trademarks) apply to all EU members. The appeal of a EUTM has dwindled since the United Kingdom left the EU, but it is still one of the cheapest available worldwide per countries.
Depending on the exchange rate, a preliminary trademark application in the EU costs around USD 990 (depending on the class). A ten-class application would cost about $61, and each additional class would cost another $183. Lawyers in the EU usually charge $600-$800 to help with the filing (in addition to the filing costs).
Fees for International Trademark Filings
The legal fees incurred when filing trademarks around the world make up a large segment of the costs. It may seem like a good idea not to hire an attorney to save money, but it’s in your best interests to hire trademark counsel upfront to avoid costly mistakes down the road.
Trademark applications are complex legal documents, especially if you are not familiar with the language. The application can be rejected or delayed if the registration is delayed by a mistake. Before filing your application, a trademark attorney can conduct a clearance search in the country in which you wish to file, which can help you better understand the risks associated with the mark you have chosen in the country in which you wish to file. It allows you to make changes if necessary, preventing the need for costly legal action in the future.
Also, an attorney has the experience and connections to help you navigate the trademark application process in a foreign country. Their professional relationships with international counsel and other lawyers around the world ensure that your trademark application is successful and that you will have the best chance of getting it.
We provide intellectual property consultation by Vakilsearch if you need assistance determining the next steps for your trademark portfolio, are looking for information on the Madrid Protocol filing process, or simply want to review your international options. We are ready to assist you with international expansion, dozens of successful international registrations, and experience filing applications around the world.