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International Trademark Registration

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.

Micromax International Trademark Registration
Micromax International Trademark Registration (Source: PTI)

Madrid Protocol

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 Process
International Trademark Registration Process | Source: WIPO

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:

  1. African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
  2. Albania
  3. Algeria
  4. Antigua and Barbuda
  5. Armenia
  6. Australia
  7. Austria
  8. Azerbaijan
  9. Bahrain
  10. Belarus
  11. Belgium
  12. Bhutan
  13. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  14. Botswana
  15. Bulgaria
  16. Cambodia
  17. China
  18. Colombia
  19. Croatia
  20. Cuba
  21. Cyprus
  22. Czech Republic
  23. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  24. Denmark
  25. Egypt
  26. Estonia
  27. European Union
  28. Finland
  29. France
  30. Georgia
  31. Germany
  32. Ghana
  33. Greece
  34. Hungary
  35. Iceland
  36. India
  37. Iran
  38. Ireland
  39. Israel
  40. Italy
  41. Japan
  42. Kazakhstan
  43. Kenya
  44. Kyrgyzstan
  45. Latvia
  46. Lesotho
  47. Liberia
  48. Liechtenstein
  49. Lithuania
  50. Luxembourg
  51. Mexico
  52. Monaco
  53. Mongolia
  54. Montenegro
  55. Morocco
  56. Mozambique
  57. Namibia
  58. Netherlands
  59. New Zealand
  60. Norway
  61. Oman
  62. Philippines
  63. Poland
  64. Portugal
  65. Republic of Korea
  66. Republic of Moldova
  67. Romania
  68. Russian Federation
  69. Rwanda
  70. San Marino
  71. Sao Tome and Principe
  72. Serbia
  73. Sierra Leone
  74. Singapore
  75. Slovakia
  76. Slovenia
  77. Spain
  78. Sudan
  79. Swaziland
  80. Sweden
  81. Switzerland
  82. Syrian Arab Republic
  83. Tajikistan
  84. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  85. Tunisia
  86. Turkey
  87. Turkmenistan
  88. Ukraine
  89. United Kingdom
  90. United States of America
  91. Uzbekistan
  92. VietNam
  93. Zambia
  94. Zimbabwe

We can help: IndiaFilings can help your business obtain international trademark registration. Talk to an IndiaFilings Business Advisor today.