I hope you enjoyed Meet Taipei so far! It is nice to talk to fellow founders and startup companies from Taiwan and from all over the world. As we go around, we welcomed questions about trademark registration and application.

1. Is trademark global?

More than 90% of the people we talked to used to know that once you applied for a trademark, it can be applied globally. Trademarks are issued by national governments, and most countries practice first-to-file policy. This means that if somebody registers the same word mark, shape, color, sound, or shape in the country you wanted to enter to, you cannot use it anymore.

However, there is one common trademark application used internationally which is called the Madrid System. According to the site, it is a “… a cost-effective solution of managing trademarks worldwide”. Unfortunately, Taiwan is not part of the Madrid Union and this comes with a disadvantage which will require a comprehensive trademark strategy to overcome, it is essential to consult a trademark agent before filing.

2. How trademark can help?

We understand that people might view trademark registration as a fancy way of registering something other than your business. What people don’t know is that trademarks can help you protect what you own already. Your logo, word mark, slogan, particular shape, or color is yours, and if somebody else tries to copy it, they can face litigation. This goes a long way in building a presence, but also cements and positions your distinguishing marks in front of your target customers. We have written a more detailed article on benefits of registering your trademark.

3. What are the fees?

Trademarks are issued by governments, and thus the fees are subject to their rules and regulations. However, fees could file up if one is not careful of which categories to apply to, or what kind of protection is optimal for a trademark. It is essential to consult a trademark agent that could guide you into the best trademark strategy.  

4. How long should I wait until I get the results?

If everything is smooth and no back and forth changes, results can be approved within six to eight months.

5. How to choose the country to register the trademark?

This largely depends on your expansion strategies. Prioritize your target country first then move on to other countries as your global strategy becomes more clear.  As there are many market entry strategies such as distributor partnerships or acquisitions, it is best that the trademark be registered under your company name and not your partner name. This could protect you in the event of your business relationships going south or other inevitable circumstances. In countries where there is a different system for reading and writing, it is recommended to register your trademark in the local language.

So there you go. We hope that you picked new trademark knowledge via this post. If you have any trademark application related questions, please feel free to contact us using the form below.