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International Trademarks: The Madrid Protocol

In a global market the Madrid Protocol has made the processes of gaining an international trademark more efficient. Signed in 1989 the Madrid Protocol helps to regulate international trademarks in 74 countries including the United States. According to the USPTO the Madrid Protocol, "is an international treaty that allows a trademark owner to seek registration in any of the countries that have joined the Madrid Protocol by filing a single application, called an 'international application.'" This means that when seeking a trademark in five different Madrid Protocol countries, only one international application needs to be filed. This helps the filer save on the costs of filing in each individual country.

The Madrid Protocol does not allow a person to directly file an international application at the International Bureau; rather it requires them to file the international application through the USPTO. In order to file an international application through the USPTO a person needs to have secured a U.S. application or registration. According to the USPTO, "the mark and the owner of the international application must be the same as the mark and the owner of the basic application or registration."

Once an international application has been filed, the USPTO sends the application to the International Bureau. Once the International Bureau registers the mark it sends it to each of the countries the applicant desires to register mark in which the applicant desires registration of the mark. Those countries review the application according to their laws and each comes to a conclusion about whether or not to grant protection of the mark in their country. Thus, the process of receiving a trademark in many different countries is made cost efficient and convenient.

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