Registering your brand’s trademark in every country within which it operates is crucial in order to protect your reputation and IP rights. It is possible to register a trademark in virtually every country, and most jurisdictions have a Trademark Office.

When you wish to use a trademark in another country or are in the process of negotiation with a prospective overseas business partner, you must register your trademark as quickly as possible in order to ensure protection of your position.

Making an Application

You can make an individual application to any country in which you require your trademark to be protected, however this can be time consuming. An alternative is to use The Madrid System to register a trademark overseas. At the present time, there are more than 70 countries in which an international trademark registration can be filed under this arrangement. It is only possible to obtain protection for regions and countries which are members of this system.

Not only are there numerous individual countries which have membership of the system, there are also three distinct regions that can be designated when making an international trademark registration.


This region comprises Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. You cannot designate any of these three countries individually so the IR designation must include all three as standard.

The EU (European Union)

This region comprises all the EU member states except Malta which must be either designated separately or in addition.

The OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization)

This region comprises 17 member states including: Burkina Faso, Benin, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea (Conakry), Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal, Niger, and Togo.

Requirements and Procedures

Every region or country has specific procedures, fees, and requirements of its own for registering a trademark. Therefore, it is crucial to take advice from a professional with expertise in this area to ensure you can navigate through the process while ensuring compliance with each country’s specific requirements.

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