What is the trademarkregistration principle?
The significance of trademarks lies in their usage, rather than their registration, as they are employed on products, packaging, and advertisements. For many companies, extensive advertising is crucial to enhance their trademark visibility. However, despite the importance of trademark usage, trademark ownership is often established on a first-to-file basis, rather than a first-to-use basis, in many countries. While determining trademark ownership on a first-to-file basis may seem inflexible and disadvantageous for prior users, it provides a clear standard for ownership of trademark rights, facilitating trademark administration and litigation in the event of a dispute. Conversely, a first-to-use approach may favor prior users, but it can make ownership challenging to determine, making evidence collection and investigation problematic during disputes. This instability in trademark rights can dissuade entrepreneurs from investing resources in promoting their trademarks. Therefore, the first-to-file approach is generally more beneficial than the first-to-use approach and has been adopted by most countries worldwide.