As you may be aware, the United States has recently become a member of the Madrid Protocol System for International Registration of Trademarks. Effective November 2, 2003, a new central filing system will be available to U.S. trademark owners interested in protecting their marks internationally. The system allows the owner of a United States pending trademark application or existing registration to file, in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, an application for international registration, which application would be based on the Applicant’s U.S. application or registration. In the international application, the Applicant would request an international registration and would designate one or more Madrid Protocol member countries where trademark protection is sought. At the present time, there are some 61 member countries, including countries of the European Union, some countries from Eastern Europe and from the former Soviet Union, Australia, Japan, China and a number of African countries.
Following receipt and review of the international application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will forward the application to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Assuming all formal requirements have been met, WIPO will notify all member countries where protection has been sought. Each country than conducts an examination as required by the specific national laws of the country.
This notice is not, of course, designed to give you a detailed analysis of the procedures involved in an application for international registration or to imply that such international registration protection is desirable or cost effective in any individual instance. We want simply to alert you to the availability of this system. If you are interested in additional information or have questions regarding this new system, we would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail. Please contact us at your convenience. E-mail inquiries should be sent to trademarkpartners sughrue.com