deadline priority brand

The priority period

The priority period is a mechanism devised by international trademark treaties to give a national trademark owner the right to extend the protection of his trademark abroad within a maximum of 6 months without having to worry about the filings made during this period by third parties in the countries it covers. Thus, the trademark abroad is deemed to have existed since the day of the application. the registration of the national trademark whose priority is being invoked. In practice, all filings made between these two dates will be unenforceable against the holder, who will benefit from priority.

In practice, it is always necessary to specify, at the time of filing abroad, the trademark for which priority is claimed. In case of omission, it is impossible to invoke it a posteriori. Moreover, once the 6-month period has elapsed, it is no longer possible to use this priority right.

Note that even if the priority period has passed, it is still possible to file your trademark abroad. Unlike designs or patents, the filing right does not expire after a certain period. However, any identical or similar earlier filings made by third parties in the countries in question will all be opposable, regardless of their filing date (which must, of course, be earlier than the date of your own filing abroad).

Finally, it should be pointed out that priority works only if the mark abroad is strictly identical to the national mark whose priority is invoked: same name, same logo where applicable, same goods and services, same owner.

An example to make this clearer: Mr M. registered his trademark CLIMB in France on June 12, 2016. He has a deadline expiring on December 12, 2016 to register his trademark abroad under priority of his French registration. In fact, he files the European trademark CLIMB on October 20, 2016, specifying that he has a priority right thanks to his French trademark. However, a German registered the CLIMBED trademark for the same products on August 18, 2016. This mark cannot be opposed to the mark of Mr M., who is deemed to have rights to the mark CLIMB in Germany since June 12, 2016.