Canada is joining the Madrid Protocol!  It’s just like the Bourne Ultimatum, but okay it’s not at all. The Madrid Protocol is what makes it relatively easy to get your trade mark registered in multiple countries at the same time without having to file a separate application in each one.

We’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the land of maple syrup and moose (we employ more Canadians than we do people from the Shire) but Canada’s trade mark laws were in serious need of an update to bring it up to speed with its international trading partners.

Thankfully, Canada has seen the (Northern) light and recently passed legislation to implement a number of international agreements relating to trade marks, but most importantly, to bring the Madrid Protocol to Canada.  The changes are expected to come into force sometime next year.

Obviously, we are excited because Australia is already part of the Madrid Protocol, so getting your Australian trade mark registered in The Kingdom of Ryan Gosling, and over 90 other countries, can be as simple as ticking boxes on a form (to designate member states in which you would like protection) and sending it to your friendly local trade mark office, IP Australia.

After a formalities check, it is usually a matter of waiting for the relevant trade mark office to confirm that there are no substantially similar trade marks on its register and for the opposition period to expire.  While the process does take some time, it can make renewing your international trade marks a very simple one payment task.

Canada will join big players such as the USA, China, India, the United Kingdom, the European Union and of course, Australia, in the international trade mark registration system. There are still a number of countries missing from the Madrid Protocol dance card but many are expected to join the party in the coming years, such as Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.  As technology continues to enhance global business relations, we predict more countries will follow Canada’s snowy footsteps and join the Madrid Protocol.