A right of priority is a right allowing any person, having initially registered a trademark in a member state of the European Union, to be able to register it in other EU member states within a ‘priority’ deadline of 6 months. The registration in the other country backdates to the date of the first registration.
Consequently, if the party registering wishes to extend the trademark to a State party to the Paris Union or the World Trade Organization (WTO), that party has a priority deadline of 6 months allowing them to extend their protection to other countries tracing their rights back to the date of the initial registration.
After the 6 month deadline, the registration will no longer be backdated.
When a party registering a trademark uses the right of priority, the registration authority in the foreign country considers the date of the initial registration. Thus, any registration requests made in this interval by other parties in other countries cannot claim against subsequent registering parties whose rights are effective from the previous 6 months.
If the priority deadline has expired, protection will begin from the date of registration in the country in question and will not therefore backdate to the registration date of the trademark in France.
The advantage is that the registration requests made by third parties or disclosures made during the priority deadline are unenforceable.