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International Trade Marks - The Madrid Protocol

The Madrid Protocol is a system designed to simplify the protection of trade marks internationally.

An international application under the Madrid Protocol may be filed by any person who has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment or a domicile in, or who is a national of, one of the countries party to the Protocol.

Australia has been member of the Protocol for over 10 years, since July 2001.

There are various advantages associated with using the Madrid Protocol. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • The simplicity of filing: The Madrid Protocol allows for the filing of a single application, in one office, in one language, with a single fee (which depends on the number of countries selected) and secures trade mark protection in multiple countries.
  • The simplicity of alteration: A change of ownership details or a name or address change is easily recorded with all member states by means of one form.
  • Faster processing: The time period for overseas trade mark offices to issue a provisional refusal of the mark is limited to 12 or 18 months.
  • The simplicity of renewal: There is only one renewal payment to make every ten years from the registration date.
  • Costs: The Protocol substantially reduces the cost of registering and maintaining trade marks in a large number of countries, mainly by eliminating the need to appoint local attorneys (unless the application encounters an objection).

With the number of countries becoming members of the Madrid Protocol increasing each year, accessibility to cost effective international trade mark protection is improving.

A complete list of all the members of the Protocol, updated regularly, can be found here.

If you would like further information about how you can better protect your trade marks internationally, please contact us at TM@fal-lawyers.com.au.

16 July 2012