Colombia recently became the 87th member to join the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks, effective August 29, 2012.  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 86 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 parocedure.

Although Spanish is one of the official languages of the Madrid system, Colombia is only the second country in Latin America and just the third Spanish-speaking country in the world (Spain and Cuba are the others) to join the Madrid trademark filing system. Perhaps more countries in the Western Hemisphere are likely to follow, but for now there are relatively few member countries located in the region.  Thus, for the time being, such geographical implications may present at least some strategy concerns for brand owners based in the Americas, as they consider utilizing the Madrid system.

For the WIPO Press Release, click here.

For the Madrid System Link, click here.