Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has submitted India’s instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks at WIPO on April 8, 2013. According to the WIPO statement, the treaty will enter into force with respect to India on July 8, 2013. India is the 14th of the G-20 economies to accede to the Madrid Protocol. As of now, there are 90 members of the international trademark system. Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, and the Philippines are the other countries that have recently acceded to the Protocol System.
Administered by WIPO, an international registration under the Madrid System produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark in each of the contracting parties designated by the applicant. The trademark owner may thus protect a mark in all member countries (including the European Union with its Community Trade Mark (CTM)) by filing one application, in one language (English, French or Spanish), with one set of fees, in one currency (Swiss Francs). However, before seeking international protection, the applicants are required to apply for trademark protection in a relevant national or regional trademark office.
If protection is not refused by the trademark office of a designated contracting party, the status of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office. Thereafter, the international registration can be maintained and renewed through a single procedure. The system thus provides a cost-effective user-friendly and streamlined means for trademark holders to secure and maintain protection for their marks in multiple countries