The number of countries and regions joining the international system for trademark registration, on the basis of the Madrid Convention and its Protocol, continues to grow. Thailand is the latest country to deposit an instrument of accession with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It will accede to the System on 7 November 2017.
The international system for trademark registration (international rights, or IR) enables brand owners to apply for and maintain protection for trademarks in one or more member states of the Madrid System via one application to WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Madrid System dates back to the ‘Madrid Agreement’ of 1891 and was extended via the ‘Madrid Protocol' in 1996. Since the accession of Algeria to the Protocol in October 2015, all international trademark registrations have been exclusively governed by the Madrid Protocol, making the Madrid Agreement essentially a non-operational treaty.
When it accedes on 7 November, Thailand will become the 99th member of the Madrid System, and the third Southeast Asian country to have joined this year, after Laos (7 March 2016) and Brunei (6 January 2017). Following Thailand’s accession, the Madrid System will cover 115 territories in total.
Is the Madrid System right for you?
That more and more countries and regions can be designated in an international trademark registration makes it increasingly appealing for businesses to apply for an international registration. For an analysis of the pros and cons of the Madrid System, read this article.
When the outlet of your business focuses on several countries or when it is about to enter new markets, it is important to determine whether your interests are sufficiently protected in those countries and regions.