What is Madrid Protocol?

Are you building a global brand?

International trademark applications may just be the right way for you to protect it.

International protection is available through Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol.

Find out more about them in this video:

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TRANSCRIPT

Madrid Protocol is an international treaty that allows most businesses in the world to file one trademark application and just put checkmarks next to the countries where they want their trademark registered.

And when I said, “most business owners”, unfortunately, there are some countries that are not yet members to that. And most countries are, but Canada is currently the only civilized country in the world that is not a part of that treaty.

So Canadians cannot use that. So if you’re a Canadian business and you have a global presence and you want to have global protection for your brand, essentially you have two options. One is to file individual trademark applications in every single country where you need protection. And it can get really, really expensive because you have to deal with separate lawyers, separate countries, separate government fees, it can easily escalate to a huge sum of money.

The second option would be for you to establish an entity, maybe a branch or another company in some other country—and most Canadians set up U.S. companies for that reason—and then you can file an international trademark application on behalf of that U.S. entity.

So here is how this works. If you are a company or a business that can file an international trademark application, the first thing you’re going to do is file the national trademark application in your country of residence. So for example, if you are an American company, you would file a U.S. trademark application, just like you normally would. And then you would file a second application—that would be the international part of it—where you would say, “Based on our U.S. filing, we want the same trademark registered in this country, in this country, in this country, we want it in China, we want in India, we want in Brazil, we want in this and that.

And again, you would not be able to add Canada because that’s not the part of the system. But, generally, the rule is very simple: if you want to get your trademark registered in more than 5 countries, Madrid Protocol is the way to go. It will save you a ton of money, a lot of headaches. If it’s less than 5—and by the way, European Union is considered as one entity, so all 28 countries, think of them as one whole,—so if all you want to do is get your trademark in the U.S., European Union, and China, don’t go for Madrid, just do them separately.

If it is more than 5 countries, put the list and make sure that you get your brand protected in all the markets where your trademark is valuable for you.


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Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.

See our answers to other frequently asked questions about trademarks or leave your comments below!


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