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Trademarks FAQs

Is a federal trademark registration valid outside the United States?

Not formally. Certain countries, however, do recognize a U.S. registration as a basis for registering the trademark in those countries. Many countries maintain a register of trademarks and some will act to protect the holders of U.S. trademarks from activity that occurs abroad which would, if transacted in the U.S., infringe upon the owner's trademark.

Furthermore, a suit in U.S. Federal Court can be brought by a U.S. trademark owner against another U.S. citizen for exportation of goods wholly for sale abroad that would confuse foreign consumers as to whether the goods were those of the trademark owner.

Finally, the holders of "famous" trademarks may be able to block foreign registration of confusing (same or similar) trademarks abroad (e.g., someone other than Disney registering Mickey Mouse in Iran). Each country's laws about registration should be consulted.