The Madrid Agreement is an international treaty signed by multiple countries around the world in Madrid, Spain, in 1891. The primary aim of the agreement is to protect the rights of trademark owners in multiple countries by offering them a unified system for registering and managing their trademarks. This article discusses the common regulations of the Madrid Agreement that trademark owners and applicants should know.
1. Territoriality Principle
The Madrid Agreement relies on the territoriality principle in that the protection and registration of a trademark are limited to the territories of the contracting parties. Therefore, a trademark registered under the Madrid Agreement is limited to specific countries. A trademark owner must register the trademark in each country of interest separately.
2. International Application
The Madrid Agreement enables trademark applicants to file an international application for trademark registration in a single language based on the national or regional trademark application. An international application must be filed through the trademark office of the applicant`s country of origin.
3. Centralized Management
The Madrid Agreement allows trademark owners to centralize the management of their trademarks. A single international registration provides a single point of contact for all trademark applications and renewals. This eliminates the need for separate registration in each country of interest.
4. Renewal of International Registration
Renewal of an international registration under the Madrid Agreement must be done every ten years. The renewal is an opportunity for the trademark owner to update their trademark and add or remove designated countries.
Trademark owners are required to pay fees for the international application and registration under the Madrid Agreement. The fees are payable to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and local trademark offices.
6. Subsequent Designation
Trademark owners can add countries to their international registration through subsequent designation. Subsequent designation enables trademark owners to expand their international registration with additional countries after the initial registration.
The Madrid Agreement provides a unified system for the registration and management of trademarks across multiple countries. The common regulations of the agreement ensure that the trademark registration process is straightforward and cost-effective. It is essential that trademark owners understand the regulations of the Madrid Agreement to take advantage of the centralized management and protection of their trademarks.