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International Trademark Registration (Madrid Filing)

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International Trademark Registration (Madrid Filing)

For International Trademark system Madrid System is used, as it is a convenient and cost-effective method for management & registration of trademarks worldwide. International trademarks are utilized by companies that are preparing to export their services or products overseas. Madrid protocol has been made to regulate the registration & application process of international trademarks.

Unlike the trademark protection provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this registration prevents the utilization of companies’ intellectual properties worldwide.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of Geneva regulates the registration procedure, and it also provides a database for international trademark search. This facility allows businesses operating globally to find out existing trademark applications, statuses, and decisions within the international database. Customers can make a choice from conducting a  class search  or trademark search worldwide. 
International trademark search and registration are usually completed on a national level, and this implies that companies that may prefer to operate in multiple countries and use the identical mark might have to conduct multiple searches and submit an application for every location. International trademarks are protected for 10 years and need to  be renewed for a further 10-year period after expiry.

An objection against the employment of a trademark in one particular country doesn’t affect the end result of applications made at another place. International trademark registrations in the EU are handled, and objections in one country will affect the approval chances of the applicant in other European Union states.

Requirement of International Trademark search:

Registration of  international trademarks is vital for all companies, but it is a  sophisticated process. In present global economy, it’s becoming very important to get a mark registered abroad. International trademark search also becomes important for identification of the existence of identical or infringing marks abroad.

  • When plans to  use a mark abroad, a company makes sure that they are not using an already registered trademark  in one or more of their operating countries. 
  • In order to use the international search facility, however, the company is under obligation to register and have one or more than one marks accepted. International trademark search is initiated in North America, South and Central America, Asia, the European Union, Africa, and  the Mideast as well. 

The Madrid Protocol for trademarks has 91 members, and also the  signed up countries list  is found on the WIPO website. Trade mark searching on the international level could be a lengthy process, but is  necessary for protection of a mark abroad. International trademark registration helps the companies in protection of brand during global expansion with registration as well as renewal.

Reasons to Use International Trademark Search:

Even after the registration of a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it does not give the right to the company to use it abroad.

  •  Registering a trademark abroad provides  the exclusive rights to a company for utilization of a given mark in association with their products or services abroad. This implies that resellers from the country won’t be able to receive benefits of the strength and reputation of the brand, and will not be able to  copy the mark. 
  • Another value provided by using international trademark search facilities is identification of companies that conflict with the mark. If there are no  results, it means that the company  can register their trademark abroad, and will have exclusive rights thereto, and license it to other companies when creating overseas franchises.

Companies must run clearance checks before their registration of a trademark so as to avoid infringement claims within the country. The national Patent & Trademark Office or an international trademark attorney can provide information on the procedure.

Reasons to not use International Trademark Search:

If an organization isn’t about to operate abroad, the utilization of the mark in other countries isn’t likely to interfere with their business, because the search and application procedures take time and money, registering a mark within the home country can save time and resources as well.

In some cases, it is  hard for businesses to use national or international trademark search engines and ask for help from professionals. A patent & trademark attorney  provides advice, professional search, and detailed reports on the mark’s status abroad. This may reduce the time which has been used by companies to expand their business worldwide.

Types of search:

  • Word search
  • Logo search
  • Device mark search

Word search uses Classes 1-45 for categories and products, and phonetic similarities appears. Nice Classification database is used for Logo search which is established on the basis of Nice Agreement. International Classification of Figurative Elements of Mark database is used to complete Device mark search.

Users of international systems can use  phonetic search. Other, commonly used search engines  use serial numbers, date, and company numbers to find out about the registered marks.

Common Mistakes:

One of the foremost common mistakes which is related to International Registration and search of trademarks is that

  • the company assumes that if a mark is  not protected within their country then they’ll register a mark abroad. So in matters of  international protection, the business has the right to the trademark in  one country at least.
  • Many companies are not aware that international registrations of trademarks are subject to an existing live protection of a minimum of five years. Without this, it’s impossible to register a mark abroad.  
  • Generally companies fail in a particular area of translation of company names and respective trademarks. 
  • The biggest mistake of a company is not planning the search & application, it is costly as well.
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