Varumärkesskydd internationellt

International trademark protection

If you are going to market products and/or services in markets outside Sweden, it is important that you apply for international trademark protection. Not only to secure the intellectual property rights to what you sell, but also to not risk unknowingly infringing an already registered foreign trademark.

What does international trademark protection involve?

International trademark protection, just like trademark protection in Sweden, is about ensuring the exclusive rights of use for things that specifically characterize your particular products or services. For example, it can be a specific logo, a font, a product design, or a signature sound.

Since a Swedish trademark registration only applies within Sweden, it is important that you apply for international trademark protection if you intend to sell your goods or services on foreign markets. It is also important to obtain trademark protection in the country where you may manufacture. 

The application can be made in three different ways depending on whether you wish to protect your trademark in one country alone, within the EU, or globally.

Different registration requirements for different countries

International trademark protection is obtained by registering your trademark in the foreign market or markets on which you are going to market your goods and/or services. The application process is quite similar in most markets, but some countries have their own specific requirements for who is permitted to register a trademark and the process involved. For example, you may need to have a partner or other local contact in the country, which understandably takes time to establish and makes it a difficult requirement to meet.

PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS

How to protect your brand abroad

Depending on where you wish to obtain trademark protection for your products or services, your application should be sent to different authorities.

Trademark protection in a specific country

If you are only planning to sell your products or services in one or just a few individual markets outside of Sweden, it is sufficient to apply for registration in that specific country or those countries. The application is then sent directly to the relevant intellectual property office in that country – that is, the equivalent of the Swedish Intellectual Property Office (PRV).

A complete list of intellectual property offices in individual countries can be found at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Trademark protection in the EU

If you wish to protect your trademark in several European countries, it is both cheaper and easier to apply to register an EU trademark, rather than filing individual applications for each country. This is the case even if you do not intend to market your business on all markets within the EU.

International trademark protection within the EU gives you the exclusive right to market your services or goods in all member states of the Union. Both existing and future members. The application for registration is sent to the European Union Intellectual Property Office – EUIPO.

It is important to keep in mind that, for example, Switzerland, Norway, or the UK are not covered by trademark protection within the EU because they are not themselves members of the Union. So protection in European countries that aren’t members of the EU must be applied for separately.

Global trademark protection

You will get the most comprehensive international trademark protection if you apply for trademark registration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Over 100 countries are available to choose from, as well as unions such as the EU and BeNeLux. You choose which countries and/or intergovernmental organizations you want to apply for trademark protection in.

It’s important for you to know that international trademark protection via WIPO can only be obtained once you have applied for and been granted national trademark protection in Sweden or trademark protection within the EU. This is because your registration with the Swedish PRV or the European EUIPO is the basis for your application to WIPO.

Varumärkesskydd internationellt

Helpful information about trademark protection abroad

  • International trademark protection can be obtained in the countries and intergovernmental organisations that are parties to the Madrid Protocol.
  • Your international trademark registration is linked to your Swedish registration for five years from the date it takes effect. This means that any changes in your Swedish registration – the so-called basic registration or application – also affect the international registration for your trademark. Examples of changes can be a new list of goods or services, or if trademark protection is terminated.
  • Trademark protection outside of Sweden can only be obtained if there is not already a similar or identical registered trademark in the markets and within the trademark classes you are applying for.

We can help you protect your trademark internationally

Do you want help applying for trademark protection outside of Sweden? Get in touch with us at Abion. Our trademark experts can be of service with everything from a preliminary investigation to application and further management of your approved trademark registration.

FAQ about international trademark protection

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Open the app you have chosed as authenticator, and you receive the code there. You will not receive an email with the code.

Note: If there is more than 180 days since you logged in last time, your account is disabled, due to security. Please contact support@abion.com and we will assist you.

How do you apply for trademark protection?

For protection within the EU, you apply at EUIPO, and for international protection, you apply at WIPO after applying for protection in your country or the EU.

Do you have to register your trademark?

No, but without trademark protection, you lack exclusive rights to the trademark. Anyone can therefore use your trademark and take advantage of what you've built.

Are there different types of trademark protection?

Yes, you can obtain trademark protection through registration or through established use. For established use, the trademark must be very well-known and have been in use for a long time. The burden of proof for this lies with you as the owner.

How long does trademark protection last?

Trademark protection is valid for ten years but can be renewed indefinitely. As long as the protection is renewed every ten years, it can effectively last indefinitely.

Do you want to know more about international trademark protection?

Contact us and we’ll tell you more!

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