Can I Get An American Trademark If I'm Not From The U.S.? | iGERENT
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Can I Get An American Trademark If I'm Not From The U.S.?

U.S. Citizen


There are many certainly many questions which come into your when you are planning to register your trademark worldwide. One of them can be: Can I get an American trademark if I am not an American citizen? Read this article to find out.

If you are a business owner from outside the U.S., but you are doing business there or planning to do, you're in competition with U.S. companies, and therefore, you should register your trademark as well as your logo, slogan or design you are using in the U.S.

The first step would be to register the trademark in the US in order to grant you protection from having third parties trying to register and have ownership of the name. But, as a foreigner, you will be probably wondering if you or your company can obtain the registration without having to create a U.S. company.

Can I Get An American Trademark If I'm Not A U.S. Citizen?

The short answer is yes. In fact, the U.S passed legislation that addresses this issue. 

Under the Lanham Act § 42, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1124, you can register your trademark as an American trademark if your country has an agreement with the U.S. for reciprocal  protection.

In order to register your trademark in the US, it must either be in use inside the territory of the United States, or registered abroad. If the trademark being applied for, has effectively been used in commerce inside the US, you need to provide at the moment of filing the use of your trademark in the US market. If however, your trademark has yet been used, you must proceed with the filing based on intent to use, like any other American applicant.

In the case of registration has been previously done in your country of origin, the registration in the US will be much easier, as you will be able to apply without proving the use of your trademark in the U.S. It will be enough to show the trademark certificate.

The Madrid System Can Help With Obtaining An American Trademark?

Adherence to the convention or the protocol includes membership of the Madrid Union.  As of March 2018, there are 100 members.

It is a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks worldwide. File a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 116 countries, and USA is included.

If you live in any of these 116 countries, you can quickly get an American trademark through this system.

Although more countries are likely to adhere to the Treaty soon, few important markets aren't in the system even though it covers a good 80% of the world trade market, such as Canada, Hong Kong, most of South America.

It is however a very convenient method of obtaining an American trademark. This is a very simple process: You only file one application in one language and any a power of attorney is required.

The system also features a "subsequent designation" allowance. This means that you could expand your trademark registration to other member countries after filing, which means that, if you file for an American trademark, you can gradually expand to China or Australia if needed.

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Yes, You Really Can Get An American Trademark

In most instances an American trademark registration is possible. It just depends on how you want to apply via Madrid System  or locally through the USPTO  (United States patent and trademark office) But either way, the answer is yes.

If you're looking for more information about the rights and requirements to register a trademark, please contact us. We'll be ready to help you with whatever you need.