Geographical Territory (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Under trademark law, geographical territory is the territory in which one uses a mark. Generally, using a mark in a territory determines the extent of trademark rights granted to the user. The first person to use a mark in one region has exclusive rights in the mark for that region, and a junior user of a mark in that region can be forced to cease using the mark there. However, the senior user cannot stop the junior user from using the mark in a different territory as long as the junior user is the first to use the mark in that particular territory. There are two exceptions to the general rule, such as:

1. nationwide priority that is only available to federally registered marks, and

2. the doctrine of natural expansion, which is available to any mark owner.