What is the Madrid Protocol, and why does it matter for your ‘international’ trademark?
The Madrid Protocol is a treaty that provides a common international basis for registering a trademark. Over 90 countries are members of the Madrid Protocol. The treaty arrangements are administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. They provide a full list of member countries where you can submit an international trademark application.
How does ‘Madrid’ work?
‘Madrid’ facilitates the filing of trademark applications in a number of countries, using just one application.
All trademark applications for Madrid member countries will be examined under each member’s national trademark legislation and related law. Acorn Trade Mark Attorneys can help you get suitable advice about those laws.
Remember, though, that the Madrid Protocol also allows foreign trademark owners to apply for Australia using an international application. A foreign trademark owner may have a trademark that conflicts with yours. If that person files overseas under Madrid and requests processing in Australia, there will be a time lag involved. Your trademark attorney can help make sure there’s no confusion due to this sort of crossover.
Is there another option?
You may not always be able to use the Madrid Protocol (ie it may be unavailable or inappropriate). The alternative approach is to apply directly in each required jurisdiction.
If you do apply directly to another country, you’ll need to do that through their systems. Again, we can help you with both advice, and where necessary line up a suitable local trademark attorney to help you file overseas.
Our previous post discussed whether there’s such a thing as an international trademark that you can apply for.
Our next post will discuss the benefits of applying under the Madrid Protocol.