Managing trade marks

Trade marks outside the UK

In general, trade marks apply on a country by country basis. If you want to use your mark in countries outside the UK you can apply to the trade mark office in each country where you want protection.

Alternatively, you can apply for a Community Trade Mark within the European Union (EU) or an international Madrid System mark in various other countries. In each case, these single-applications apply to the UK as well, and offer a number of benefits such as:

  • lower costs - in overall application costs and country-by country fees
  • less paperwork - a single application form works for all relevant jurisdictions
  • lower agent's costs - there is only one application
  • faster results - a single decision rather than several
  • easy application - the process is streamlined to make applications simpler

Community mark

Applications for a Community Trade Mark are made through the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Apply for a Community Trade Mark on the OHIM website. If granted, the registration protects you in all EU countries.

Madrid system

More than 70 countries, including members of the EU, are party to the Madrid Protocol on trade marks. This enables you to apply to register your trade mark in all these countries through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

You can find a list of Madrid Union members on the WIPO website.

Apply for an International Trade Mark on the WIPO website.

An international application must be based on an application in one of the member countries. If you apply for an international mark, it must be based on a UK trade mark registration or application. You can apply for an international mark at the same time as you apply for a UK one, or later if you prefer.

Re-registration of UK marks in other countries

You can also extend an existing UK intellectual property (IP) registration to a number of other countries after completing certain local formalities. You can see a list of countries where you can extend a UK trade mark on the Intellectual Property Office website.

Developed with:

Intellectual Property Office