Businesses and organizations are able to protect their brands using trademarks in almost every country around the world, it has been claimed.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), nearly every nation allows the registration and protection of trademarks.
Each national or regional office maintains a Register of Trademarks which contains full application information on all registrations and renewals, the body explained.
These facilitate the examination and search of registrations, and potential opposition by third parties.
The effects of such a registration are, however, limited to the country or countries concerned, the office explained.
“In order to avoid the need to register separately with each national or regional office, WIPO administers a system of international registration of marks,” it stated.
“This system is governed by two treaties, the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Madrid Protocol.”
WIPO noted that any person who has a link–through nationality, domicile or establishment–with a country party to one or both of these treaties may use the system.
This will give effect to their trademarks in some or all of the other countries of the Madrid Union, providing the company with international intellectual property rights.
Last year, WIPO reported that trademarks are the most common form of intellectual property protection, more so than patents, copyrights and service marks.
“Trademarks promote initiative and enterprise worldwide by rewarding the owners of trademarks with recognition and financial profit,” WIPO said.
“Protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services.”
The body said the system enables people with skill and enterprise to produce and market goods and services in the fairest possible conditions, thereby facilitating global trade.