The Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol Difference: What You Need to Know
If you’re in the world of international trade, chances are you’ve heard of the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol. Both are international treaties that govern the registration and protection of trademarks across borders. However, while these two treaties may seem interchangeable, they have some significant differences that you need to understand.
The Madrid Agreement was first established in 1891, making it the older of the two treaties. It is a multilateral treaty that allows for the registration of a single trademark in multiple countries. This means that a company or individual can file an application for a trademark in one country and then use the Madrid Agreement to extend that trademark to other countries. Currently, the treaty has 106 members, including several European countries, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
Under the Madrid Agreement, the application process is relatively simple. An individual or company can file a single application with their national trademark office and designate the countries in which they would like to protect their trademark. The national office will then forward the application to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which will examine the application and notify the designated countries of the trademark request. The designated countries then have the opportunity to either approve or reject the application.
The Madrid Protocol was established in 1989 as an extension of the Madrid Agreement. It is a more recent treaty and currently has 124 members, including most European countries, Canada, Australia, and the United States. The Madrid Protocol operates similarly to the Madrid Agreement, but with some significant differences.
One significant difference is that the Madrid Protocol allows for the filing of an application to extend a trademark to multiple countries, but the countries must also be members of the treaty. This means that individuals and companies cannot use the Madrid Protocol to protect their trademark in non-member countries. Additionally, the Madrid Protocol allows for the filing of subsequent designations, meaning that trademark owners can add additional countries to their registration after their initial application has been approved.
Another significant difference between the Madrid Agreement and Protocol is the examination process. Under the Madrid Protocol, the trademark application is examined by the WIPO, as opposed to individual national offices. This means that the examination process is more centralized and streamlined. However, this also means that if the WIPO rejects the application, it will be rejected in all designated countries, unless the applicant chooses to withdraw in specific countries.
In summary, while the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol share some similarities, they also have some significant differences. The Madrid Agreement allows for the registration of a single trademark in multiple countries, including non-member countries, while the Madrid Protocol only allows for registration in member countries. Additionally, the examination process differs between the two treaties, with the Madrid Protocol having a more centralized process through the WIPO. Understanding these differences is crucial for any company or individual looking to register their trademark internationally.