What is an international trademark

An international trademark refers to a type of mark that has rights and legal protection across a number of jurisdictions globally. Essentially, all countries that are party to the Madrid System (administered by WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization) can register an ‘international’ trademark, and this extends to over 80 territories worldwide. It is advisable to gain assistance from a professional consultancy firm or trademark attorney to assist with the registration of an international trademark.

Features of an International Trademark


As mentioned, an international trademark is one that is registered in many jurisdictions across the globe. It differs to that of a community trademark (CTM) as CTMs are registered in EU member states only, where as international marks can be registered in the EU and outside of the EU.

Registration Process

The registration of an international trademark is a relatively straightforward process and involves filling a single application WIPO. The application form will include reference to all the countries in which you seek registration in, and WIPO will then review the application and either reject or approve it.

These trademarks provide trademark owners with legal rights, protection, benefits and obligations in line with the Madrid Agreement 1891 and the Madrid Protocol 1891. It should be noted that for a trademark to seek international registration it must be registered in the country of domicile first.

The Benefits

An international trademark can be registered in over 80 territories worldwide; this allows the trademark owner to gain worldwide recognition for their brand name, obtain enhances legal protection against passing off or other trademark infringements,  and significantly develop their customer base and brand awareness globally.

Trademark search

Registering an international trademark requires meeting a number of industry standards and requirements as set by WIPO. The competition surrounding the registration of an international mark is vast and so it is highly advised that all owners seeking registration conduct a global trademark search or enlist the professional services of an attorney to perform the search on their behalf. Conducting a search will ensure the mark is available in all countries they seek registration in.