Madrid Protocol celebrates 30 years

2nd Jul 2019

The Madrid Protocol has celebrated the 30th anniversary since it was first adopted.

Trade mark

Pre-dated by the Madrid System, which was established in 1891, the Madrid Protocol “opened the door to countries or intergovernmental organisations that until then had not been able to join the Madrid Union because of agreement limitations”, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which administers it.

The Madrid Protocol came into force in the UK in 1995, although it was one of the original signatories back in June 1989. 

In 2018 there were a record number of trade mark applications made via the ‘Madrid System’, with 60,000 in total. 3,000 of these originated in the UK. 

The U.S. was the biggest user of the system with more than 8,000 applications, followed by Germany with more than 7,000, while 6,900 applications originated in China. 

Administered by the WIPO, the Madrid System allows applicants who have applied for or registered a trade mark in their own country, to apply for the corresponding trade mark in some, or all, of the countries who have signed up to the system.

Once filed each individual country then has up to 18 months to conduct its own examination and raise any objections.

There are 104 members of the Madrid System, with Canada being the latest territory to join.