Companies, organizations and individuals can protect their trademarks across several countries by using the Madrid system.
This international procedural mechanism – established in 1891 – enables applicants to receive cross-border protection having filled out just one application with their national or regional office.
As the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) explained, an international mark so registered is equivalent to an application or a registration of the same mark effected directly in each of the countries designated by the applicant.
“If the trademark office of a designated country does not refuse protection within a specified period, the protection of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that office,” WIPO said.
“The Madrid system also simplifies greatly the subsequent management of the mark.”
This is because it is possible to record subsequent changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step, WIPO added.
The Madrid system is administered by the International Bureau of WIPO located in Geneva, Switzerland.