The Madrid Protocol facilitates the international protection of trade marks. Trade mark owners can protect their marks in any of the countries who are members of the Protocol1 by filing a single “international” trade mark registration designating those countries, rather than filing separate  trade mark applications for each country. Protection of trade marks in multiple countries via a single international trade mark registration usually significantly reduces management and renewal costs when compared to the management and renewal of individual national trade mark registrations. 

This international registration scheme currently covers 88 countries.

The following countries have been parties to the Madrid Protocol for some time:

  • United States of America
  • The European Union (all member states are also parties)
  • China
  • Japan
  • Russian Federation
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea).

More recent additions include:

  • India (2013)
  • Mexico (2012)
  • The Philippines (2012)
  • New Zealand (2012).

Of the developing BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) which are predicted to dominate the world economy by 20502, only Brazil is not yet a party to the Madrid Protocol. However, Brazil and Argentina are both currently considering joining this registration scheme.

Uptake of the Madrid Protocol in South-East Asia has been slow, but in addition to the above countries, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand are all set to join the Madrid Protocol in 2015.

Formulating an international trade mark protection strategy is a complex exercise.