Trademarks Areas of Special Sovereignty

Trademarks Areas of Special Sovereignty

As a general rule, registered trademarks will only be recognized in the country where they are registered. However, many countries have territories (territorial dependencies) where a country’s law is completely recognized, only partially recognized, or may even have complete autonomy when it comes to intellectual property or trademark matters.

The following list includes countries and their territorial dependencies in which trademarks are automatically recognized when registered. Some dependencies recognize trademarks only when these have been filed and registered directly in the country’s trademark office. For example, if one registers a trademark in Denmark, it will have protection in Greenland and Faroe Islands. However, if one registers a trademark for the European Union, this registration will have effect in Denmark (member of the EU) but will not have such effects in the Danish dependencies of Greenland and Faroe Islands.


Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Nauru, Norfolk Island.


Nagorno-Karabakh. This territory is disputed; owners of a registered trademark in Azerbaijan may have difficulties enforcing their rights.


Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island.


Greenland, Faroe Islands.


Åland Islands.


Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy, French Saint-Martin, French Guiana, Reunion Island, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. The trademarks may be extended to the French Polynesia.


Abkhasia, South Ossetia. These territories are disputed; owners of a registered trademark in Georgia may have difficulties enforcing their rights.


Kurdistan. Although Kurdistan is part of Iraq it also has its own trademark office. If one is particularly interested in protecting their trademark In Kurdistan, registering their trademark in both Kurdistan and Iraq is recommended.


San Marino, Vatican City.


Pridnestrovie (Transnitria). This territory is disputed; owners of a registered trademark in Moldova may have difficulties enforcing their rights.


Western Sahara. This territory is disputed; owners of a registered trademark in Morocco may have difficulties enforcing their rights.


Svalbard, Jan Mayen.


Madeira, Azores.

San Marino



Somaliland. This territory is disputed; owners of a registered trademark in Somalia may have difficulties enforcing their rights.


Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla.

United Kingdom

In addition to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) are also included.

United States of America (USA)

U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix & St. John), American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico.

In the case of Puerto Rico, it is important to note that together with Federal registration, Puerto Rico has its own independent trademark registration office. When registering a trademark in Puerto Rico, the examination process does not consider previously registered U.S. Federal trademarks. Thus, if Puerto Rico is a territory that one considers relevant to one's business, one should preventively register their trademark in this territory even if such trademark has been previously registered in the United States.

Trademarks registered through the few regional trademark offices that exist grant protection and recognition in multiple countries

Benelux Office for Intellectual Property

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg. These countries do not have their own national trademarks office.

African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo. These countries individually do not have a trademark office.

African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania (mainland), Zimbabwe. Registering a trademark for these countries can be done through ARIPO or directly through each country’s local trademark office.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Includes the following territories:

Åland Islands, Martinique, Guadeloupe (included St. Barthélemy and French part of Saint-Martin), French Guiana, Reunion Island, Azores, Madeira, Ceuta and Melilla, Canary Islands.

DOES NOT include the following territories:

Northern part of Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Greenland, New Caledonia and Dependencies, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Mayotte, Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Martin), Anguilla, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena and Dependencies, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.


Should you spot an error, please do report it by contacting us.


iGERENT offers trademark services in more than 180 countries. For further information visit


Author: Conrad Fahrenkrug Attorney-at-law @ iGERENT

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