India Joins Madrid Protocol

India became signatory to the Madrid Protocol for International Registration of Marks at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on 8th April 2013. Now, Indian applications can register their Trade Marks in as many as 89 countries through a single application. India is the 14th G-20 economy to accede to the protocol. The treaty will enter into force with respect to India on July 8, 2013 according to the WIPO statement.

The Madrid System offers trademark owners a cost-effective, user-friendly and streamlined means of protecting and managing their trademark portfolios internationally. In 2012, there were 44,018 applications by companies for registration of trademarks under the Madrid System, marking a growth of 4.1% over 2011.

The Madrid system is equally attractive to large businesses as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the largest users of the system. In the midst of current global economic conditions, the Madrid system has shown signs of strength, evidence of its advantages in protecting trademarks internationally.

Background (Extract: WIPO website)

Under the WIPO-administered Madrid system, a trademark owner may protect a mark in up to 88 countries plus the European Union with its Community Trade Mark (CTM) by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs).  The Applicants wishing to use the Madrid system must apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office before seeking international protection. An international registration under the Madrid system produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant.

If protection is not refused by the trademark office of a designated contracting party, the status of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure. Thus, the system provides a cost-effective and efficient way for trademark holders to secure and maintain protection for their marks in multiple countries.

The international trademark system is governed by two treaties, namely, the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891) and the Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1989).

I know where I will be on 8th July, 2013. What about you?

About the Author: Ms. Madhuri Iyer, Trade Mark Attorney at Khurana & Khurana and can be reached at: Madhuri@khuranaandkhurana.com

Follow us on Twitter: @KnKIPLaw.

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