According to an article in the Septemebr 1, 2004 INTA Bulletin "National law in civil law countries (where registration rather than use is the basis for exclusive rights in a mark) can be particularly troublesome for an owner of a famous or well-known trademark. In these jurisdictions, local pirates often seek to usurp the legitimate owner's rights by registering famous or well-known marks before the rightful owner. These piratical registrations can then serve to block the rightful owner from using and registering its mark locally. . . ." The author concludes that "As nations continue to develop famous and well-known mark standards, consistency could be increased by recalling that the consumer should be the ultimate proving ground." My advice is to "file early and file often."