One of the primary questions we receive from clients boils down to this: if my trademark is registered locally, does that mean my trademark is also registered internationally?
The Short Answer to International Trademark Registration
No, as there isn’t a method to register your trademark in every single country around the world. The validity of your trademark is limited to the country of registration. A new and separate application will be required for each and every country you wish to register your trademark in.
The Long Answer
If the idea of starting and managing separate trademark registration applications sounds tedious to you, here’s some good news. International trademark registration is possible under the Madrid System, a method which streamlines the registration of marks in a select but large and growing number of countries.
The Madrid Protocol
The Madrid Protocol, also known as the Madrid System, is regulated by the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). International registration is possible via this process as you may register your marks up to 120 countries simultaneously through a single application. The best part of the Madrid Protocol lies in its efficiency: you will only need to file one application, through one office, in one language and pay a one set of fees. That’s it!
Trademark registration granted through the Madrid Protocol is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. Registrations are renewable at the end of each 10 year period.
It’s not too good to be true. However, it must be kept in mind that the Madrid Protocol merely streamlines the international trademark registration process for you: it does not give you the rights to international trademark protection over your marks. This will be determined by each member country and their IP governing bodies.
Malaysia joined the Madrid Protocol on 29th September 2019, and the number of countries gaining membership to the Madrid System grows every year. Click here to read more about the participating member countries, courtesy of WIPO.
Whether you are registering your trademark locally or internationally, the guidance of an intellectual property professional will help iron out all necessary details and ensure a successful trademark application. Our IP professionals are happy to answer your pressing questions about all things trademark!
Get in touch for a free consultation today.