The Madrid system officially the Madrid system for the international registration of marks is the primary international system for facilitating the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world. The Madrid system provides a centrally administered system of obtaining a bundle of trademark registrations in separate jurisdictions.
Registration through the Madrid system does not create a unified registration, as in the case of the European Union trade mark  system; rather, it creates a bundle of national rights through an international registration able to be administered centrally. Madrid provides a mechanism for obtaining trademark protection in many countries around the world which is more effective than seeking protection separately in each individual country or jurisdiction of interest.
The Madrid Protocol system provides for the international registration of trade marks by way of one application that can cover more than one country. The opportunity of having a single registration to cover a wide range of countries gives advantages, both in terms of portfolio management and cost savings, as opposed to a portfolio of independent national registrations.
Madrid now permits the filing, registration and maintenance of trade mark rights in more than one jurisdiction, provided that the target jurisdiction is a party to the system. There are 90 countries part of the Madrid System.
The Madrid system comprises two treaties; the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks , [fn 1] which was concluded in , and entered into force in , and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement , which came into operation on 1 April The Madrid Agreement was originally intended to provide for an international registration system, but did not achieve this for two significant reasons:.
Some of the large trading nations like the United States, Japan, and Canada , which have a large number of filings at the national level, did not join the Madrid Agreement due to another perceived flaw in the system: During and , attempts were made to address this issue by establishing a new treaty that would reflect the need of the times rather than the world of the s when the agreement was adopted. In the absence of more accessions to the TRT and the low number of registrations since its inception, it was clear that the TRT was unlikely to supplant the Madrid Agreement.
As the realization of the introduction of a multi-jurisdictional or at least pan-European European Community Trade Mark CTM approached, the relevancy of the Madrid system came under scrutiny. Pressure increased on WIPO to maintain its relevance and strengthen the agreement by increasing membership, possibly through amendments.
This culminated in the introduction of the Madrid Protocol, pursuant to which a CTM registration could be a 'foundation' or 'home' registration upon which an international registration could then be established. This mechanism is referred to as a "linking provision. The Protocol entered into force on December 1, and became operative on April 1, In Europe, resistance to the Protocol was brought by trademark attorneys who were afraid of losing business because a Community Trade Mark application could be filed directly through the Madrid Protocol process.
In the United States, the proposal bogged down due to a trademark dispute between two businesses who were heavy campaign contributors to certain Congressmen, followed by a repeated reshuffling of the Senate due to elections and a subsequent defection of a Republican senator.
Japan revised its trademark law with the official acceptance of the Nice Classification an international trademark classification system for products and services , as well as applications covering service using service marks.
The members of the European Community have amended their laws to conform to the European Community Harmonization Directive. In recent years trademark laws in several other countries such as Malaysia , New Zealand and South Africa have also been amended to accommodate the changes. Adherence to the convention or the protocol includes membership of the "Madrid Union. The original treaty has 55 members, all of which are also party to the protocol when Algeria joined the Madrid Protocol on October 31, , all of the members of the Madrid Agreement were also members of the Madrid Protocol and many of the aspects of the Madrid Agreement ceased to have practical effect.
The term 'Madrid Union' can be used to describe those jurisdictions party to either the Agreement or the Protocol or both. The primary reason the protocol—which has been in operation since and has 97 members — is more popular than the agreement — which has been in operation for more than years and has 55 members  —is that the protocol introduced a number of changes to the Madrid system which significantly enhanced its usefulness to trademark owners.
For example, under the protocol it is possible to obtain an international registration based on a pending trade mark application, so that a trade mark owner can effectively apply for international registration concurrently, or immediately after, filing an application in a member jurisdiction.
By comparison, the agreement requires that the trade mark owner already holds an existing registration in a member jurisdiction, which may often take many months and sometimes years to obtain in the first place. In addition, the agreement does not provide the option to 'convert' international registrations which have been 'centrally attacked. The Madrid system provides a mechanism whereby a trademark owner who has an existing trademark application or registration known as the 'basic application' or 'basic registration' in a member jurisdiction may obtain an 'international registration' for their trademark from the WIPO.
The trademark owner may then extend the protection afforded to the international registration to one or more member jurisdictions, a process known as 'designation'. A useful feature of the Madrid system is that this protection may generally be extended to additional jurisdictions at any time, such that international trade mark protection can be extended to new jurisdictions which subsequently join Madrid, or to such other jurisdictions as the trade mark owner may choose.
In basic terms, the primary advantage of the Madrid system is that it allows a trademark owner to obtain trademark protection in any or all member states by filing one application in one jurisdiction with one set of fees, and make any changes e. One disadvantage of the Madrid system is that any refusal, withdrawal or cancellation of the basic application or basic registration within five years of the registration date of the international registration will lead to the refusal, withdrawal or cancellation of the international registration to the same extent.
For example, if a basic application covers 'clothing, headgear and footwear,' and 'headgear' is then deleted from the basic application for whatever reason , 'headgear' will also be deleted from the international application. Therefore, the protection afforded by the international registration in each designated member jurisdiction will only extend to 'clothing and footwear. The process of attacking the basic application or basic registration for this purpose is generally known as 'central attack.
In , less than half of a percent of international registrations were canceled as a result of central attack. The cost savings which usually result from using the Madrid system may be negated by the requirement to use local agents in the applicable jurisdiction if any problems arise. Two significant recent developments in international trademark law were the accession of the United States and the European Union to the Madrid Protocol on November 2, , and October 1, , respectively.
With the addition of these jurisdictions to the protocol, most major trading jurisdictions have joined the Madrid system. On 31 July , Algeria deposited its instrument of accession and will accede to the Madrid Protocol on 31 October As Algeria was the last member of the Madrid system to adhere to the protocol, the protocol is now effective across the entire Madrid system. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Madrid Agreement disambiguation.
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