The Madrid Protocol Makes Your Life Easier
The Madrid Protocol exists in order to make the Madrid System more compatible with U.S. trademark legislation. The Protocol is an amendment to the Madrid Agreement, and both the U.S. and the E.U. participate in it. Since they signed on (in 2003 and 2004, respectively), the Madrid Protocol has been adopted by many more countries, eventually becoming the preferred way to register and protect trademarks internationally.
In order to apply for Trademark Registration through the Madrid Protocol, you must be a natural person or legal entity with a connection, by nationality or by residence, to one of the participating countries. The Madrid Protocol trademark applications, which are linked to the applications in the applicant’s home office, are sent to Geneva, Switzerland, to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). There, they are checked and entered into an international registry, which gets sent to trademark offices around the world, in all participating countries. The trademark offices in those countries can refuse or approve the application and have 18 months to do so. If the application is approved, the trademark is protected for ten years, from the original date of registration. After that, the application must be renewed. All approved applications are published in the International Gazette.