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Jaime Rich Vining of Friedland Vining.Jaime Rich Vining of Friedland Vining. (Courtesy photo)

Globalization has significantly affected trademark portfolio practice in recent years. U.S.-based companies now sell and promote their products or services online throughout much of the world via online commerce and social media. Trademark owners must therefore now secure registration in many more countries to ensure their brands are adequately protected in all countries in which they exploit or are likely to exploit their marks. Generally, a trademark registration has no extraterritorial effect. That means its effectiveness stops at the border of the country where it was granted. There are various treaties and systems in place that enable a trademark applicant to register a trademark in a number of countries through a single registration, as opposed to filing a separate application in each one. For example, a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) registration, obtained through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), covers all member states of the European Union. A common misconception, there is no “global trademark,” and to obtain complete “worldwide protection,” it would be necessary to proceed separately or regionally in each of the nearly 200 jurisdictions where it is currently possible to register trademarks. Thus, trademark protection around the world largely remains a patchwork system of national laws and trademark registries.

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