If you plan on registering a trademark in several countries, the Madrid System (WIPO) offers a convenient solution. Using one application, you can register your business trademark in more the one country. With only one fee, in one language, using your country of origin’s currency, your application can register your trademark in the countries you designate.
A trademark, as you may know, is a mark, brand, or symbol associated with a business and its products or services. Registering your trademark protects your business from other businesses who may try to copy yours. Once your logo or symbol is registered, only your company as well as any group you license your product or service to can use your trademark. But registering a trademark can be complicated.
The Madrid System, also known as the Madrid Protocol, has several advantages besides the convenience of registering. Once you register your trademark successfully with WIPO’s international registration, you designate the countries your application should be forwarded to. The Madrid protocol includes most developed countries. And you register from your country of origin, which is very convenient.
A trademark application must be complete with special attention to the following items for a greater chance of success.
• A known, unique symbol associated with your business (avoid applying with a simple generic symbol or logo)
• A complete list of goods you sell listed in appropriate classes (goods listed randomly or not put carefully into classes can cause an application to be rejected)
• Clear information about who the trademark is registered to and the business the trademark applies to
A registration that is cancelled or is never accepted is much more difficult and costly to reregister in each country you want protection. It’s best, unless you are very familiar with international registrations, to hire legal help from someone who is familiar with the process. Marcaria.com can help you register your trademark.
It is important to note a few of the disadvantages of the Madrid process. Internationally registered trademarks are vulnerable to a central attack. A central attack is when someone withdraws or cancels an application, often in a legal dispute. If you have a central attack on your registration, your trademark registration is cancelled in every country you registered it in. It is possible to cancel a registration anytime within 5 years of registration.
Other disadvantages include it is nearly impossible to make major changes to an application. However, the trademark is registered for 10 years. And during that time period, the logo, symbol, and company information cannot be altered without changing the entire registration.
If you want the convenience of one stop registration, registering through WIPO is your answer. Be aware of the pitfalls. Have a complete application. And keep track of when you need to renew your registration to avoid cancellation.