• Professional News
  • 28 May 2013

India accedes to the Madrid Protocol

Effective 8 July 2013 India has joined the Madrid Protocol. Companies may now register and protect trademarks among two thirds of the world’s population by simply filing one application.

Effective 8 July 2013 India has acceded to the Madrid Protocol, the most recent amendment to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Madrid system for international registration of trademarks. Consequently, companies can now cover two thirds of the world’s population simply by filing one application. Considerable savings are most often the result of registering with one international trademark office as compared to filing applications with several national trademark offices.

Following the recent accession of Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand and the Philippines, a total of 88 countries as well as the EU have now joined the Madrid Protocol. With the accession of India and Mexico, fourteen of the twenty G20 countries and three of the five BRICS countries have now joined the Madrid Protocol. Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Indonesia yet have to accede to the Madrid Protocol for all G20 and BRICS countries to be included.

Shorter processing time in India
Indian lawyers have expressed concern that the Indian authorities and courts might enforce a trademark obtained through international registration less rigorously as national Indian trademarks. It is, however, too soon to conclude whether this will be an issue.

The protection of trademarks in India through the Madrid Protocol entails the significant advantage of shorter processing time. India, along with a number of other countries, is notoriously known for its long trademark application processing time, and the Madrid Protocol will improve matters. The Protocol imposes a time limit of 18 months within which the authorities must process and either approve or reject international applications.   

However, there is a small snag in India’s accession, meaning that it will not be possible to opt for India in respect of international trademark applications filed before 8 July 2013.

The protection of trademarks through the Madrid Protocol has been an attractive solution for Danish companies since 1996 when Denmark joined the Protocol. With the accession of the many new countries, this has become only more relevant to a growing number of Danish companies. We are of course glad to assist in assessing our clients’ needs, potential and opportunities.

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