Trademark Registration Guide and Information

Overview of the Madrid system

lntellectual Property Rights are territorial. It is therefore imperative to protect and seek registration for your trademark in the countries that you operate. Under the Madrid Protocol, you can now seek expeditious registration for your trademark in over 90 countries worldwide, with a single filing in one language. The Madrid system also simplifies the management of your trademark, since it is possible to record subsequent changes or to renew registrations through a single procedural step.

The Madrid Protocol is administered by the International Bureau (lB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). An lnternational Application under the Madrid system is made through a local Trade Marks Office (Office of Origin). The Office of Origin certifies that the particulars in the lnternational Application correspond to the national application/registration before transmitting the lnternational Application to the lB.

Upon receipt of the lnternational Application, the lB undertakes to check for the prescribed fees, formalities and the classification of goods/services. If there is no irregularity, the lB grants the lnternational Registration (lR) and sends a certificate to the applicant. The lB notifies the local Trade Marks Office which the applicant has sought extension of the lR. The lR will also be published in the WIPO Gazette of lnternational Marks.

The local Trade Marks Office of the designated country examines the lnternational Application in the same manner as a national application. However, there is a time bar of 12 - 18 months for the local Trade Marks Office to raise any objection. lf no objection or opposition is raised within the prescribed period, the extension of the lR proceeds to grant. The term of registration is 10 years.

Requirements

The requirements for an lnternational Application are set out below:

- The Madrid system is open to its members only (for a list of the member countries, please click here). 

- An lnternational Application under the Madrid Protocol can be filed by any national or legal entity having a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in one of the Madrid Protocol member countries. 

- The trademark owner must first have an existing trademark application or registration (the "basic application" or "basic registration") in a member country. 

- A reproduction of the proposed mark. 

- A list of the goods and/or services for which the protection is sought, classified in accordance with the lnternational Classification of Goods and services (Nice Classification). 

- No translation or notarization of document is required.