Maybe you started with state registration of your trademark. Then, when you started doing business in other states, you got a U.S. registration. That was smart, because your U.S. registration grants you exclusive rights across the entire United States, protecting your exclusive right to your brand as you grow across the country.
Then, when you started getting inquiries, maybe even orders from other countries, did you think about protecting your brand outside of the United States? It’s not at all difficult. And you don’t have to be “big business” to reach into the global marketplace any more.
Treaties with other countries allow you to obtain protection of your trademarks – your brands – in most countries of the world even before your first shipment across an international border, based only on your U.S. trademark registration.
To get your U.S. registration you must have been using your mark on goods and/or services moved in U.S. interstate trade. You made a declaration in the U.S. Trademark Office that you’re using your mark. And you showed evidence of how you use your mark.
Once you own a U.S. trademark registration, however, protection of your trademark in the global market, in those countries into which you intend to expand, or from which you’ve had orders and inquiries, does not require you to claim use in those countries or show “proof” of use. Registration in other countries requires only that your trademark or something very similar to it is not already in use there and that you have a U.S. registration.