A little known fact is that U.S.-based applicants can file a Madrid application that relies on either a registration on the Principal or Supplemental register.  A Madrid application significantly lowers the costs of foreign trademark filings by centralizing the application process. The ability to support a Madrid application with a Supplemental Registration can change the strategy for responding to a merely descriptiveness registration refusal. It may be the better option to secure the earliest filing date in foreign countries while waiting to acquire distinctiveness in the United States. And the International Registration, which issues from the Madrid application, is subject to a central attack (i.e., an attack on the Supplemental Registration) for only five years from the registration date. Accordingly, at about the same time the U.S. mark is acquiring distinctiveness, the foreign registrations are becoming safe from a central attack.