Foreign trademark protection can be obtained by registering national trademarks. This requires the filing of a national trademark application in foreign countries. 

If a sign is to be the subject of several simultaneous applications in foreign states, it is advisable to register an international trademark (IR trademark) and/or a "protocol trademark." By this means, a single application is sufficient to obtain trademark protection in the member states of the Madrid agreement concerning the international registration of marks or the protocol relating to this agreement. A prerequisite for applying for an IR trademark or "protocol trademark" is that the sign applied for is registered as a trademark or an application for registration as a trademark has been filed in the country of origin (basic trademark or basic trademark application).

In addition, it is possible to register a Community trademark (CTM) which confers protection throughout the territory of the European Union. The registration of a basic trademark or the filing of a basic trademark application is not required for the filing of a CTM application.

When filing foreign trademark applications, the applicant can claim the priority of an earlier national application. The time limit for this is 6 months, calculated from the date of filing of the earlier application.

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