The Madrid Protocol refers to an international treaty called the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. It is a system for the international registration of trademarks, which allows trademark owners to protect their marks in multiple countries through a single application. The Madrid Protocol was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1996. It is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) and currently has over 120 member countries. The primary objective of the Madrid Protocol is to simplify the process of obtaining trademark protection in multiple jurisdictions.
Under the Madrid Protocol, trademark owners can file a single international application with their national or regional trademark office, known as the “Office of Origin.” The Office of Origin then forwards the application to the WIPO, which examines the application and registers the mark if it meets the requirements. Once the mark is registered with the WIPO, it is then automatically extended to the member countries designated by the applicant. This allows the trademark owner to obtain protection in multiple countries without the need to file separate applications with each national trademark office.
Advantages: The Madrid Protocol offers several advantages, including cost savings, streamlined procedures, and centralized management of trademark portfolios. It simplifies the process of expanding a trademark portfolio internationally and provides a more efficient way for businesses to protect their brands globally.
Note: It is important to note that the Madrid Protocol does not create an international trademark right. Instead, it facilitates the process of obtaining trademark protection in multiple countries by leveraging existing national or regional trademark systems.