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  • Madrid System for International Trademark Registration
  • Author Date Time:2010-03-24 07:36:39
  • Introduction

    1. The system of international registration of marks is governed by two treaties: the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, which dates from 1891, and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement, which was adopted in 1989, entered into force on December 1, 1995, and came into operation on April 1, 1996. Common Regulations under the Agreement and Protocol also came into force on that date. The system is administered by the International Bureau of WIPO, which maintains the International Register and publishes the WIPO Gazette of International Marks.


    2. Any State which is a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property may become a party to the Agreement or the Protocol or both. In addition, an intergovernmental organization may become a party to the Protocol (but not the Agreement) where the following conditions are fulfilled: at least one of the Member States of the organization is a party to the Paris Convention and the organization maintains a regional office for the purposes of registering marks with effect in the territory of the organization.


    3. States party to the Agreement and/or the Protocol and organizations party to the Protocol are referred to collectively as Contracting Parties. A list of the Contracting Parties is given on a separate sheet. Together, they constitute the Madrid Union, which is a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention.


    4. Every member of the Madrid Union 85 (list of members available in PDF and HTML formats) is a member of its Assembly. Among the most important tasks of the Assembly are the adoption of the program and budget of the Union and the adoption and modification of the implementing regulations, including the fixing of fees connected with the use of the Madrid system.


    5, The objectives of the system are two-fold. Firstly, it facilitates the obtaining of protection for marks (trademarks and service marks). The registration of a mark in the International Register produces, in the Contracting Parties designated by the applicant, the effects described in paragraph 31, below. Further Contracting Parties may be designated subsequently. Secondly, since an international registration is equivalent to a bundle of national registrations, the subsequent management of that protection is made much easier. There is only one registration to renew, and changes such as a change in ownership or in the name or address of the holder, or a limitation of the list of goods and services, can be recorded in the International Register through a single simple procedural step. On the other hand, if it is desired to transfer the registration for only some of the designated Contracting Parties, or for only some of the goods or services, or to limit the list of goods and services with respect to only some of the designated Contracting Parties, the system is flexible enough to accommodate this.


    Advantages of the System

    International registration has several advantages for the owner of the mark. After registering the mark, or filing an application for registration, with the Office of origin, he has only to file one application, in one language, and pay one fee instead of filing separately in the trademark Offices of the various Contracting Parties in different languages and paying a separate fee in each Office. Moreover, the holder does not have to wait for the Office of each Contracting Party in which protection is sought to take a positive decision to register the mark; if no refusal is notified by an Office within the applicable time limit, the mark is protected in the Contracting Party concerned. In some cases, the holder does not even have to wait the expiry of this time limit in order to know that the mark is protected in a Contracting Party, since he may, before the expiry of the time limit, receive a statement of grant of protection from the Office of that Contracting Party.


    Requirements for Application

    1,An application for international registration (an “international application”) may be filed only by a natural person or a legal entity which has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in, or is domiciled in, or is a national of, a country which is party to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol (list of members available in PDF and HTML formats), or who has such an establishment in, or is domiciled in, the territory of an intergovernmental organization which is a party to the Protocol, or is a national of a Member State of such an organization.


    2, The Madrid system of international registration cannot be used by a person or legal entity which does not have the necessary connection, through establishment, domicile or nationality, with a member of the Madrid Union. Nor can it be used to protect a mark outside the Madrid Union.


    3, A mark may be the subject of an international application only if it has already been registered (or, where the international application is governed exclusively by the Protocol, if registration has been applied for) in the Trademark Office of the Contracting Party with which the applicant has the necessary connection, as described in paragraph 6, above, to be able to file an international application. This Office is referred to as the Office of origin.


    Registration Procedure

    1,The Office of a designated Contracting Party examines the international registration in exactly the same way as an application filed directly. If grounds for objection are found during the ex officio examination, or if an opposition is filed, the Office has the right to declare that protection cannot be granted to the mark in that Contracting Party.


    2,Any provisional refusal must be notified to the International Bureau by the Office of the Contracting Party concerned within the time limit specified in the Agreement or Protocol. This standard time limit is 12 months. A Contracting Party may however declare that, when it is designated under the Protocol, this time limit shall be replaced by 18 months. A Contracting Party that has made this declaration may further declare that a provisional refusal based on an opposition may be notified even after the expiry of this 18-month period.


    Application Time: about 18 moths



    1,An international registration is effective for 10 years. It may be renewed for further periods of 10 years on payment of the prescribed fees. The International Bureau sends a reminder to the holder and to his representative (if any) six months before renewal is due.


    2,The international registration may be renewed in respect of all the designated Contracting Parties or in respect of only some of them. It may not however be renewed in respect of only some of the goods and services recorded in the International Register; if therefore the holder wishes, at the time of renewal, to remove some of the goods and services from the international registration, he must separately request cancellation in respect of those goods and services.


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