The following is an edited transcript of our video The WIPO Madrid Protocol’s International Trademark Filing System Part 1.

The Madrid Protocol system is a trademark filing mechanism created by a series of protocols and agreements providing a cost-effective and efficient solution to register your mark in more than one country by using a single application.

Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Madrid Protocol currently has 112 members covering 128 countries. Utilizing the Madrid system to apply for international protection in more than one country has many benefits:

  • It allows a trademark owner to obtain protection in several countries by filing a single application with a single office and do it all online.
    • You have a single international registration to monitor, manage and renew.
    • You only pay a single set of fees and do all of this in one language.
  • The international trademark registration will be valid for 10 years, and can be renewed.
  • The trademark will appear in a global database that can be accessed by anyone around the world.
  • Once registered in each designated country, the owner will have the same trademark protection in those countries as if you had applied there in the first place.
  • If the trademark owner applies for international registration within six months of its  “basic application,” the owner can also claim priority dating back to the basic application filing date.
  • Applying through the Madrid system to obtain protection in more than one country is generally cheaper than doing so on a country-wide country basis.

How do you decide whether and when to use the Madrid system to obtain trademark protection around the world? In all of the following cases, the Madrid system provides a greater alternative to obtaining trademark protection in more than one country:

  • If you have an online business and you have goods and services that are long-term
  • If you already have a presence in several countries
  • If you have plans for international expansion
  • If you sell goods that are likely to be counterfeited

For more, see Part 2 here.

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