With the fast economic growth seen in India these days, the protection of the trademarks in this country is a factor that needs to be addressed fast. Right, the trademark system is based on the 1999 Trade Marks Act, it takes a lot of time and it costs a lot. For this reason, India is considering adhering to the Madrid Protocol.
The Madrid Protocol was created in 1996, on April 1st. Both the Protocol and the Agreement were signed in a Madrid conference. The system created based on this protocol is under the supervision of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). They are the ones that facilitate the trademark registration in a lot of jurisdictions all over the world. Thanks to them, trademarks are protected in countries all over the world, as long as they are part of the Madrid Protocol. You can file, register and maintain a trademark across the globe, in more than your own jurisdiction. The United States have joined the Madrid Protocol in 2003, while the European Union did it in 2004. Since most countries are part of it, you can consider the Madrid Protocol a major success.
The way it works, the Protocol from Madrid allows you to protect your own trademarks in a number of countries, as long as they are part of it. In order to do that, the owner needs to have an international registration of their trademark. An international registration is analyzed by each country that is part of the protocol. After 12-18 months, if no country has refused to approve the registration, it will be approved by WIPO. That’s why filling a trademark registration internationally can prove to be costly.
If that basic registration is cancelled, withdrawn or refused in the first 5 years, then the international registration would suffer the same fate.