Zone of Natural Expansion (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Zone of natural expansion is a doctrine that can be used to extend a trademark's prior rights into a new geographical area, or into a new product line. The doctrine applies when a company is already using their trademark in one area, and the newly expanded area is a natural extension of the prior use. Consumers should believe that use of the mark in the new area is by the same source using that mark in the old area. It should also be clear that the prior user planned to expand its operations and use of the mark into the newly claimed area prior to the opposing party arriving in the same area.