International Trademark Registration
International Trademark Registration
India’s mobile phone manufacturer, Micromax recently received the 1.25 millionth international trademark registration for its trademark – ‘MICROMAX’, giving it protection in over 110 countries. The international trademark registration for Micromax was filed under the Madrid Protocol, under which a mark can be protected in many jurisdictions by filing an application for international registration. In this article, we look at the Madrid Protocol in depth and also the process for international trademark registration.
The Madrid Protocol which came into operation in 1996 and the Madrid Agreement which dates from 1891 govern the system of international trademark registration. Under the Madrid Protocol, a mark can be registered in multiple countries by filing an application for international trademark registration through the trademark office of the applicant (“office of origin”).
International Trademark Registration Process
International trademark registration application under the Madrid Protocol must be filed by the trademark applicant through the trademark office of the applicant, know as the office of origin. In case of Indian Businesses, the Office of Registrar of Trademark, India is the office of origin. The office of origin will process the trademark application and file it with the Intellectual Property Organization at Geneva.
If the trademark application is found fit, then the mark is recorded in the International Register and published in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Gazette of International Marks. The International Bureau then provides a certificate of international registration and notifies each of the country contracting to the Madrid Protocol for which protection has been requested by the trademark applicant. Each of the countries trademark office has the right to refuse protection of the mark by notifying to the International Bureau within the time limits specified in the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol has set strict time limits of 12 or 18 months for objections to be raised by the designated offices.
Any objection to registration of the trademark must be made to the International Bureau in the prescribed format. If there are no refusals by any of the country, then the protection of the mark in each of the country is the same as if it had been registered by the Office of that country.
Once an international trademark is registered under the Madrid Protocol, the mark is registered for 10 years. International trademark registrations can be renewed at the end of the 10 year period directly through WIPO or through the concerned office of origin.
Requirements for Obtaining International Trademark Registration
There are three main requirements for obtaining an international trademark registration in India:
- The applicant should be a national of India or domiciled in India or have real and effective business or commercial establishment in India.
- The applicant must have a national (Indian) trademark application or registration of a trademark with the Indian Trade Marks Registry. This national trademark application/registration will be used as the basis of the international application. The international application will have the same trademark as mentioned in the national trademark application or registration; The list of goods and services mentioned in the international application should also be identical with the national mark.
- The applicant in the international application must choose one or more other member countries of the Madrid Protocol, where the applicant wants to protect his trademark.
Countries That Protect International Trademark Registrations
The following countries are parties to the Madrid Protocol. Hence, an International Trademark can be afforded protection in the following countries:
- African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- European Union
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Syrian Arab Republic
- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
We can help: IndiaFilings can help your business obtain international trademark registration. Talk to an IndiaFilings Business Advisor today.