Articles > Intellectual Property

How Does The Madrid Protocol Work?

January 28, 2021   Daniel KatzPhilip Evangelou

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:

  1. Ensure that you have registered your trademark within Australia.
  2. File an application through IP Australia.
  3. IP Australia will assess your application.
  4. Provided there are no issues, IP Australia will submit your application to WIPO for official review.
  5. 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.

If you need any assistance, our trademark lawyers are here to help. You can call us on 1300 337 997 or complete the form on this page.

About Daniel Katz

Daniel KatzDaniel is a legal intern at OpenLegal, placed in our legal content team. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney. Daniel's interest lies in economics and media/startup law.

About Philip Evangelou

phillipPhil is a director at OpenLegal. He has over 16 years experience working in private practice and in-house counsel in Sydney and London, giving him expertise in employment law, IP, finance, leases, dispute resolution, insurance and contracts.