Use trade marks in your business

Registering a trade mark outside the UK

Registered trade marks are territorial. If you apply for a trade mark in the UK, you'll only have protection in the UK.

If you're considering taking your services or exporting your goods overseas - now or in the future - you might want to consider registering your trade mark in other countries for wider protection. See our guide on intellectual property protection overseas.

Generally, you have to register trade marks in each of the countries where you want protection. However, there are two other options which could make life easier.

Registering in the European Union (EU)

The Community Trade Mark (CTM) system creates a unified trademark registration system in Europe, through which a single registration provides protection in all member states of the EU. You can apply for a CTM through the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) website. This will give you protection in all EU countries.

Registering worldwide

The Madrid System provides a quick way of 'bundling' together intellectual property protection in a number of international territories. Under the system, if you have applied for UK registration of your trade mark you can also apply for an International Trade Mark through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website.

Getting help

Registering trade marks overseas can be complicated and it's a good idea to get help from a qualified trade mark attorney or patent attorney. Find a trade mark attorney on the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) website.

Developed with:

Intellectual Property Office