This article was updated on 9 May to include Cape Verde, which became the latest country to deposit its instrument of accession to the Madrid system.
The number of countries joining the Madrid System for international trademark registrations continues to grow, with Chile and Cape Verde the latest to deposit instruments of accession (on 4 and 6 April this year, respectively). Applicants will be able to designate the countries in their international trademark registrations (IR) as of 4 and 6 July 2022.
The accession of Chile and Cape Verde to the Madrid System for international trademark registrations follows that of countries such as Canada and Brazil in 2019. When Chile and Cape Verde officially accede to the System in July, the countries will become the 111th and 112th member states to have done so. This brings the number of countries covered by the international system for trademark registration (also known as the Madrid System) up to 128, including the EU member states and the three countries of the Benelux.
The pros and cons of the Madrid System for international trademarks
The Madrid System is an important route to trademark registration for any business that trades, manufactures or is otherwise active in multiple countries – or plans to become so in the future. Instead of applying for individual national or regional trademarks in those specific countries, businesses can instead apply for trademark protection in one or more member states of the Madrid System by filing one single application at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ability to designate such a large number of countries and regions in a single application makes the Madrid System an increasingly appealing and cost-effective option for businesses. However, levels of protection can vary, and the process is not without its shortfalls.
For a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of the Madrid System, read our article 'International trademarks: Is the Madrid System right for you?'.
Considered as part of a proactive trademark registration strategy, the Madrid System enables brand owners to obtain protection in certain territories cost-effectively. As such, it provides a valuable option for any business that is already active or plans to expand into new countries and regions.
For advice on international registrations and further information on IP protection, please contact your Novagraaf consultant.
Frouke Hekker is Learning & Development Manager and Head of Novagraaf's Knowledge Management department. She is based in Amsterdam.