Madrid Agreement and International Trademark Protection
The extent of protection of a registered trademark can be either national or regional. At the national level, trademark protection can be obtained through registration at the national trademark office. At the regional level, there are several multinational registries available.
There is no true international trademark registration covering all jurisdictions, although this term is frequently applied to registrations obtained through the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol. An applicant can file a trademark application either with the trademark office of each country or via the Madrid System through a single filing application with the WIPO International Bureau in Geneva, Switzerland.
Although registrations obtained under the Madrid Agreement or Madrid Protocol are commonly referred to as “International Registrations,” this term may be misleading in that the result of filing through the Madrid System is the grant of a bundle of national registrations reflected in a single certificate of registration. A Madrid System registration can reduce filing expenses and facilitate renewals, recordal of changes of ownership or the name or address of the holder, or a limitation of the goods or services, which may be done through a single procedural step. However, the rights obtained through Madrid System registrations are no greater than the rights obtained through a national registration, given that the concept of territoriality of trademark registration rights still applies. Hence, the owner of an International Registration must go before the national courts to enforce its rights.