For brand-owners wishing to obtain trade mark protection on an international scale, the Madrid Protocol International Trade Mark system has long been a useful tool. This week, Canada has joined the party, the last of the G8 countries to adopt the Madrid Protocol.
The world’s 10th largest economy, Canada is the latest to join the long list of territories that can be designated in an International Trade Mark Application, joining the US, the European Union, China, Australia, Russia and India, among many others. As a result, you can now file one single Trade Mark Application designating up to 120 countries in one go, paying just one set of fees. With Brazil in talks to join the system in the near future, the Madrid Protocol goes from strength to strength, making life easier for brand owners wishing to protect their marks around the world.
A Madrid Application has to be based on a “home” application or registration of the same trade mark, (usually a UK or EU Registration for UK businesses) and is examined centrally before being sent out to the offices of each of the designated territories for local examination. If the mark encounters an objection or opposition in a particular country, the applicant can then decide whether to go to the expense of involving a local attorney to assist in overcoming the issue, or whether to simply abandon the application in that territory, without having an impact on their protection elsewhere.
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