Under the 'Madrid System' of International Trademark registration, the countries that are members
of the Madrid Union (i.e. which are party to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol) and which
are designated by the applicant, provide him after registration of the trademark with rights having the
equivalent effect to national registration in these countries.
An application for an International Trademark is based upon a national trademark application or
a national registered trademark and it must be filed with the applicant's national Trademark
Office: i.e. the Trademark Office of a nation in which the applicant is headquartered or has
an enterprise. For a German applicant, a German Trademark as well as a Community Trademark
counts as a national negistered trademark.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) performs the examination and registration
procedures for International Trademarks at a single location (Geneva, Switzerland) in a single
language (French or English). Further information on International Trademarks and on WIPO’s
activities is available from the WIPO web-site (see our links under 'services').
The U.S.A. became the a party to the Madrid Protocol on November 02, 2003 (2003-11-02),
raising the Madrid Union to 73 members. Consequently, companies having their headquarters
or an effective establishment in the U.S.A. may now apply for International Trademarks.
Also, companies headquartered or established in other Madrid Union countries may now use
the International Trademark route to obtain a trademark having effects in the U.S.A.
equal to those of a U.S. national trademark.