What is the Madrid Protocol?

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The Madrid Agreement is an international treaty regulating the protection of intellectual property.  Ninety countries are registered to the system established by the treaty and it is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)  The portion of the Madrid System that applies to trademarks is called the Madrid Protocol.

The Madrid Protocol provides a streamlined way for trademark holders in one country to acquire some international protection for their trademark.  With one application, the trademark owner can obtain protection in multiple countries, making this system a powerful tool for trademark owners.

However, the unified nature of the Madrid Protocol also comes with disadvantages.  If part of the international application is deleted or rejected for some reason, the international protection provided by the Madrid Protocol will not extend to such deleted or rejected part.  To be safe, it is better to apply individually to the countries where the trademark is most likely to be used to ensure that the maximum protection can be established in the areas where it is most needed.

If you have any questions about trademark law in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.