In 1991, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) designed, and began operating, the Madrid Protocol. In essence, the protocol allows global businesses to obtain trade mark protection using a single application.
This article will explain how this protocol works.
What does the Madrid Protocol do?
Firstly, Australian trademarks are limited by jurisdiction. Therefore, registering an Australian trademark only protects you from infringements within Australia. However, when trying to expand to other nations, international trademark registrations processes will need to be looked into.
The Madrid Protocol simplifies this process. Essentially, the Madrid Protocol allows you to modify, renew and expand your international trademark registrations through a single centralized system.
How to obtain protection under the Madrid Protocol?
Put simply, the process for filing an international trademark is as follows:
- Ensure that you have registered your trademark within Australia.
- File an application through IP Australia.
- IP Australia will assess your application.
- Provided there are no issues, IP Australia will submit your application to WIPO for official review.
- WIPO will review your application and either approve or deny your trademark.
Provided that WIPO approves your international trademark, it will receive 10 years protection from the date of registration.
Advantages of the Madrid Protocol?
Here are some advantages of the Protocol:
- Cost effective compared to applying for each country or state separately.
- The protocol sets strict time limits. This means that some nations may be able to acquire protection more quickly.
- WIPO records all changes of names and assignments. Therefore, there is no need to spend money saving such records.
To Sum Up
Ultimately, Australian businesses should not be deterred from entering international markets due to intellectual property infringements. With that being said, the Madrid Protocol is an efficient method to ensuring that your trademark receives international protection.