In 2012, the Philippines, New Zealand, Colombia, and Mexico acceded to the Madrid system, bringing to 89 the total number of members to join the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks.  Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid system”) is designed to provide a cost-effective and efficient way for trademark holders to secure and maintain protection for their marks in multiple countries.

Under the Madrid system, a trademark owner may protect a mark in up to 88 countries plus the European Union (Community Trade Mark members) by filing a single application. International registrations can then be maintained and renewed through essentially a single procedure.

Significantly, Mexico is the second NAFTA country and the the third country in Latin America to join the Madrid trademark filing system, effective February 19, 2013. With the addition of Colombia and Mexico, coupled with the fact that Spanish is one of the official languages of the Madrid system, perhaps more countries in the Western Hemisphere will join in the near future.  Moreover, the industrial implications of Mexico could prove significant, and perhaps provide additional incentive for fellow NAFTA member Canada to join the Madrid system.

In any event, the developments of 2012 appear to have increased the appeal of the Madrid system for brand owners based in the Americas, with potentially more to come in the next few years.

For the WIPO Press Release, click here.

For the Madrid System Link, click here.