Under the Madrid System for the International Registration of Trade Marks (Madrid System) a trade mark owner may seek protection for its trade mark in up to 88 countries plus the European Union by filing one application, in one language with one set of fees.

To take advantage of the Madrid System a trade mark owner must have a trade mark application or registration in one of the countries which is a party to the Madrid Protocol or Madrid Agreement. Then an international application may be filed which is checked to ensure compliance with the requirements for filing by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. The application is subsequently forwarded to the territories listed in the application where the application is treated as if it had been filed directly.

Many countries (including the US, Japan, Russia and China) are party to the Madrid Protocol and it is a useful mechanism for reducing the costs of filing applications in a number of countries at the same time. An international registration under the Madrid System has the same effect as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant.


The treaty will enter force with respect to India on 8 July 2013, and India’s accession to the Madrid System will allow overseas brand owners wishing to do business in India another option to protect their brands in a large and developing market. India is the fourteenth of the G-20 economies to accede to the Madrid System and its accession makes an international application more attractive than ever.

If you require any further information on international trade marks or brands generally please contact me by emailing simon.miles@edwincoe.com or call +44 20 7691 4054.

Simon Miles is head of intellectual property at Edwin Coe LLP, he is a solicitor and a trade mark attorney.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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