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Vedder Thinking | Articles New Countries Join the International Trademark System (Madrid Protocol)


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In 2003, the United States joined the International Trademark System, also known as the Madrid Protocol. Under the Madrid Protocol, stemming from a root application filed in an applicant’s home country, a trademark owner obtains an international registration (IR) with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), then extends the IR to any of the Member States to the Madrid Protocol.

The popularity of this system has been rapidly growing. Three countries joined the Madrid Protocol in 2010 (Israel, Kazakhstan and Sudan), and two more in 2012 (Colombia and the Philippines), bringing the number to 88.

Most of the nonparty countries are reconsidering accession. Eight nonparty countries are already in the final stages of ratification and/or implementation of the Madrid Protocol to become Member States. These include Mexico (2013), New Zealand (2013), Thailand (2014), Malaysia (2014), Laos (2014), Indonesia (2015), Cambodia (2015) and Brunei (2015). This continuing and regular flow of accession by new Member States is strong evidence that the use of the Madrid Protocol is likely to expand over the coming decades.

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