International Registration (Madrid Protocol)

For international registration, a trademark should be registered in the country or countries where it will be used. Several agreements grant trademark protection in more than one country with just a single application. For example, an EUTM (European Union Trademark) registration grants protection for all the countries in the European Union.

International trademark protection is initially granted by the Madrid System. The Madrid System is the primary international system for international trademark registration throughout different countries. It consists of a treaty called the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid System makes trademark registration with different countries very efficient. It simplifies the filing process. An application has to be filed only once, which indicates only one set of fees rather than paying multiple for each country that the trademark will be used in. There are 98 countries that participate in the Madrid System.

The Madrid Protocol is a filing treaty used for international registration. It is managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO. It essentially simplifies the process. Applicants apply with one application at one office using one language and one currency. There are specific countries that take part in the Madrid Protocol. But the right to grant protection is held by each individual country (involved in the Madrid Protocol) that is chosen for protection. The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland manages the system.

Who can apply for international registration?

There are many different factors that can allow someone to register internationally. If someone owns an establishment or company in a participating country, they are eligible. A citizen of that country is eligible. Someone who is a resident of a country is also eligible. But these countries have to be one of the 98 participating countries in the Madrid Protocol. The cost of international registration has a basic fee and other costs based on the nature of the mark, including the country and what services the trademark covers. For example, to register a mark in Egypt, the applicant has to pay a basic fee plus Egypt’s specific fee for registration. It may seem expensive, but on the contrary, the Madrid System helps make registration cheaper.

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