The Madrid Protocol along with the Madrid Agreement, gives the legal basis to the Madrid System which is the primary method of international registration of trademarks in multiple Jurisdictions. Administered by the WIPO, the Madrid Protocol allows the trademark owners of its contracting parties to seek protection of their trademarks in multiple countries by filing a single application. Moreover, the Madrid Protocol also allows such applications to be filed in a single language and grants protection to the trademarks in multiple countries upon the payment of a single fee.

Being a prominent member and one of the Six Majors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it was long awaited for Indonesia to take active steps to comply with the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint milestones for harmonization of intellectual property protection within the region.

On October 02, 2017, at the 57th WIPO General Assembly in Geneva, The Government of Indonesia through its Minister for Law and Human Rights deposited its Instrument of Accession (Presidential Decree No. 92 of 2017) to the Madrid Protocol with the Director General of WIPO making it the 100th member and the 8th ASEAN member of the Madrid System. This leaves only 2 ASEAN countries i.e. Malaysia and Myanmar that are yet to join the Madrid system.

However, Indonesia has filed certain declarations while submitting its Instrument of Accession, the most prominent of which are the declaration of an 18-month time limit to notify a refusal to the International Bureau against an international application made under the Madrid Protocol, the declaration of the Government to receive fees produced from supplementary and complementary fees in certain events and the declaration that the Common Regulations shall not have any effect in Indonesia.

With Indonesia’s adoption of the Madrid Protocol, the local business owners are the ones who are bound to benefit the most. From January 02, 2018 i.e. the date from which the Protocol will enter into force for Indonesia, the local business owners in Indonesia could seek protection of their trademark in territories of the other 99 member countries through a single application filed with the Department of Intellectual Property and payment of a single set of official fees. This will help them in significantly reducing the costs and efforts during their expansion in other countries. In addition, the foreign applicants could also obtain trademark protection for their marks by designating Indonesia in their Madrid Application along with other member countries.