By Abhishek Chandok and Kanv Sagar
On September 28, 2021, the Government of the United Arab Emirates deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with WIPO’s Director General. The Madrid Protocol will enter into force for the United Arab Emirates on December 28, 2021. By signing the accession of instrument, UAE becomes the 109th member of the Madrid System, which now covers 125 countries. UAE also becomes the third country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alongside Bahrain and Oman to join the Madrid Protocol.
The Madrid Protocol is bringing the world closer together with respect to the trade opportunities and in the expansion of IP related co-operation between countries. UAE’s adoption of the Madrid Protocol, will not just help the big brand owners in UAE to take their brands to other member countries but also the local business owners like SME’s and entrepreneurs will benefit from the simple registration process of the Madrid Protocol. The local business owners in UAE could seek protection of their trademark in the 124 territories of the System’s other 108 members through a single application filed with the UAE, IP Office and payment of a single set of official fees. This will help them in significantly reducing the costs and efforts during their expansion in other 108 countries.
In addition, the foreign applicants could also obtain protection for their marks by designating UAE in their Madrid Application along with other member countries. From December 28, 2021, using WIPO’s online subsequent designation service, foreign companies and trademark owners can expand their trademark protection through the Madrid System to include the consumer market of UAE. The accession of UAE to the Madrid Protocol is a positive step towards promoting trade cooperation between countries and offering a convenient/ cost-effective solution for brand owners worldwide and in the Middle East region.